Silverbacks shine in CAR tourney staged at home

Friday June 13 2014

By BRIAN MUGUME Special Correspondent

The home side cruised to Division 3 of the Confederation of Africa Rugby (CAR) after they came out tops in the Division 2 South Group tournament held from June 3-7 at Amahoro National Stadium, Kigali.

Rwanda 15s topped the three-nation contest which also had Burundi and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Swaziland and Tanzania did not show up.

The Silverbacks won the opener against Burundi 15-6 before losing to DRC 9-5. The Congolese had also beaten Burundi in their first game 22-12. Their points were however later awarded to the losers for failure to field a full team of 15 players, used 11 because some of their players had not yet arrived at the venue.

All the teams ended with four points for one victory each but, as tournament rules stipulate, Rwanda was awarded a bonus point for losing with less than seven points.
Rwanda then went through to the next upper division, where they will meet Ethiopia, Gabon and Cameroon.

Silverbacks head coach Fijian Ismail Mocevakaca blamed poor preparations for the defeat to DRC but remained happy with the general performance of his players.

“Earning points from penalties was our major weakness,” the Fijian said. “We were only better in scoring tries.

“However, this is a good start and our team is growing into a mature one.”

Skipper Lucien Bikamba, probably the team’s most experienced player, however lamented lack of funding for local rugby.