Lika­tola aim higher af­ter Malawi win

Lesotho Times - - Sport - Mikia Kalati

FED­ER­A­TION of Le­sotho Rugby (FLR) pres­i­dent Fe­tang Selialia says the na­tional side’s win against Malawi last week­end is a mas­sive boost for the de­vel­op­ment of the sport and also im­proves Lika­tola’s con­ti­nen­tal rank­ing.

Lika­tola, as the rugby na­tional team is pop­u­larly known, de­feated Malawi 31-11 last week­end in Blan­tyre. Selialia said the re­sult was a ma­jor boon for the na­tional side as it con­tin­ued to grow.

“This was the first in­ter­na­tional game be­tween the two coun­tries, and it was not just any other match. It was a test qual­i­fy­ing game, and now we have a higher rank­ing af­ter win­ning the match,” he said.

Selialia said they were ini­tially con­cerned by the phys­i­cal­ity of the Malaw­ians.

“We wor­ried be­fore we left for Malawi that our op­po­nents were a bit big­ger and stronger than our play­ers. How­ever, it was a dif­fer­ent story once the game started.”

The rugby boss ap­pealed to the cor­po­rate world to in­vest in the sport, say­ing they had the po­ten­tial to be­come a force to reckon with on the con­ti­nent.

“Lika­tola and the sport in gen­eral have made a lot of progress con­sid­er­ing rugby was only es­tab­lished in Le­sotho in 2012,” he said.

“We have so far won four out of seven in­ter­na­tional matches we played, and I think the in­tro­duc­tion of the sev­ens com­pe­ti­tions has re­ally played a big part in im­prov­ing our play­ers over the last few matches.

Selialia added: “This is why we are plead­ing with the cor­po­rate sec­tor to in­vest in rugby and help us grow.

“We are very thank­ful to those al­ready on board as well as the Le­sotho Sports and Recre­ation Com­mis­sion (LSRC) who con­tinue to fund our ac­tiv­i­ties in­clud­ing the trip to Malawi last week­end.

“I would also like to thank Avani Le­sotho who re­cently came on board by pro­vid­ing their gym to our play­ers so they gain a bit of mus­cle be­cause rugby is a very phys­i­cal game.”

For his part, LSRC chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Kholang Mokalanyane, con­grat­u­lated Lika­tola on their win and for the sport’s growth.

“LSRC, as the sport mother body is fac­ing a lot of fi­nan­cial chal­lenges be­cause of the lit­tle money they get from gov­ern­ment that has to be shared among the 32 as­so­ci­a­tions,” Mokalanyane said.

“But we are happy on how the team has been per­form­ing and rugby in gen­eral is mak­ing strides to grow big­ger. We are also do­ing our part to sup­port all th­ese as­so­ci­a­tions so that they meet their goals.”

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