Lesotho Sevens crash in Zambia as officials seek sponsorship

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Colleta Dewa

Johannesburg - Lesotho's Rugby Sevens side failed to replicate its recent impressive form in the Zambia Sevens International Tournament where it came sixth last weekend.

The team was crowned the Rugby Sevens South Region champions in a two-day tournament at Bocheletsane in Mantšonyane a fortnight ago and travelled to Zambia last week.

The two-day Zambia tournament saw 10 teams battle for honours with Botswana's Spartans eventually being crowned champions.

Lesotho lost 7-33 to the Spartans on Saturday before losing 10-33 to Zimbabwe and drawing 15-15 with the Shemantors of Zambia.

On Sunday, the Morapeli Motaung coached side bagged its only win of the tournament beating Malawi 38-5 before they were hammered 22-0 by Zambia.

Team manager Litšitso Motšeremeli, who is also Federation of Lesotho Rugby secretary, however, blamed the side's performance on fatigue as they travelled to Zambia by road.

"I think the team performed considering that they had just performed in a high intense tournament a few days earlier before travelling to Zambia by road. Saturday matches were tough and you could see that the players were tired but they still fought hard. They didn't get enough time to rest and that is what affected them. Apart from that, they still performed well against countries like Zimbabwe, who are the current leaders in Sevens Rugby and are playing in the Olympics along with Zambia."

Motšeremeli added that tournaments of this nature were important for exposure of players.

"It is important to play in such competitions because that is where developing teams weigh themselves. In our current category, we no longer have any challenge but in the Zambia tournament, we played the heavyweights and that will help us. Our players gained exposure and we are satisfied with how they played although they must continue working hard," he said.

Meanwhile, Motšeremeli also said they were working hard to ensure that the domestic league commences after the Rugby World Cup which starts on 20 September 2019 in Japan.

Motšeremeli said in the meantime, they were trying to source sponsors for the league.

"We will be announcing the dates of commencement soon. We are just in negotiations now with two companies that we have approached seeking sponsorship. For a long time, we have only been doing it out of love and passion but we think now is the time for us to change things and throw in some money into it," Motšeremeli said.

 

 

 

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