Mwanja defends USIU ‘pathetic’ Paris outing


Mwanja defends USIU 'pathetic' Paris outing
Simon Muniafu (L) and Samson Onsumu (R) of Kenya Simbas tackle Thomas Lamboley of Hong Kong during their second test match at RFUEA grounds on August 26, 2017. Hong Kong won 43-33. Photo/Stafford Ondego Sportpicha

In Summary

  • USIU rugby team head coach Dennis Mwanja has defended his teams' performance despite a series of poor results in the just concluded Central Sevens in Paris France.
  • They lost all the games returning  home with only painfully learnt lessons,  finishing 12th at the end of the 14th edition of the tournament

USIU rugby team head coach Dennis Mwanja has defended his teams’ performance despite a series of poor results in the just concluded Central Sevens in Paris France.

The side, which had been invited for the annual tournament  lost all its games returning  home with only painfully learnt lessons,  finishing 12th at the end of the 14th edition of the tournament.

Mwanja said the losses have left his boys stronger, noting the standards of the game in Paris were so high hence the losses were ‘profitable.’

“It was a good exposure for my boys. They got to experience a whole new environment of civilized rugby and we noted some positivity that we are going to apply come the sevens circuit. We already know where to polish for the local circuit,” Mwanja said.

Despite assembling a strong squad led by Kenya Simbas International Simon Muniafu who plies his trade in France with Decazeville RFC, the KRU Championship side failed to sparkle.

Three members of USIU had passport issues, thus failed to travel to Paris and Muniafu was allowed to link up with his fellow Kenyans to attain quorum.

However According to Mwanja, European countries are more organized, smart and physical in the breakdowns, hence easy to crack USIU.

“You could see Muniafu playing differently, because he is used to those standards. That’s the essence of being there, you experience something new and seek to implement it back at home,” said the coach.

A 14-7 defeat to Finland on day one of the games followed by a 15-14 loss to Toulon before going down 38-7 to La Rochelle in their last pool match saw USIU eliminated from the Cup quarters.

On day two of the event USIU went on to lose 28-7 to Oceans 7s in the Bronze Cup semis and 24-0 to Belgium in 11/12th ranking.

However Mwanja went on to challenge referees and officials in the upcoming local sevens circuit to up their level of officiating when the games commences on June.

“It’s my request to those who will officiate the upcoming games in the local circuit to emphasis on areas like the breakdowns rucks and contact areas to be specific since some of our officials don’t understand the rules and art of a balanced judgment by the referees,” Mwanja added.

The former Shujaa Captain also took the opportunity to ask local clubs to participate in such tournaments so as to expose players positively.

“I think if we get local clubs financing their players to participate in these tournaments it shall be a good step towards improving our level of rugby,” Mwanja added.

The 12-team tournament was won by home team Seventise RFC who beat La Rochelle RFC 35-19 in the grand finale.

Centrale 7s is a one of a kind campus student rugby sevens tournament that takes place in France, and allows upcoming rugby players from French universities to meet and interact with students from across the world, where they later engage in a 7s tournament.

USIU summarized results

Pool C

Finland 14- USIU 07

Toulon 15- USIU 14

La Rochelle 38-USIU 07

Day Two results

 Semis – Bronze Cup:

Oceans 7s 28- USIU 07

11th-12th place ranking;

Belgium 7s 24 – USIU 0

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Story By Benson Mbare
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