The Rwanda national rugby team didn’t expect to excel at the recently concluded Safari Sevens in Nairobi in which Rwanda exited at the Bowl semi-finals; however, the team picked lessons to take home, according to head coach, David Haddock.
The Silverbacks were humiliated 45-0 by Kenya Shujaa in their first match, before losing 38-0 against Portugal and 63-0 at the hands of Cape Warriors hence finishing bottom in the Bowl semi-finals.
“The team has potential especially the young players coming through but we had some tough games in the group, we played well but the other sides have physical advantage because they play professional rugby, it’s hard to have that physical advantage when you play amateur rugby,” said the Englishman.
He added, “We need to learn to spread the ball and avoid contact, players need to work on their basics, and we need to learn more basics and how to read the game better.”
Haddock will be with the team for three months, something that is not helping the team’s cause because lack of a permanent national team coach is one of the challenges that have affected preparations for regional or continental competitions.
Team captain Vincent Kamali, said, “The team’s goal was to prove a point which they did despite the challenges. The young players were afraid of the physical size of the other teams, which is one of the reasons we lost.”
“This year we took a very young squad compared to the previous years, and many had written us off saying the team was made up of school boys, but we played and the outlook is now different. We can do better next year,” Kamali explained. Kenya Shujaa defeated archrivals Samurai 38 -21 to take the cup. The Silverbacks have featured in the 7s cup six times reaching the Shield final in 2011, which remains their best performance so far.