Rugby Africa Cup Repechage got underway on June 5, 2021 in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, with a match between the host national and Burundi at the Stade 4 Aout.
Burkina Faso won the match with a scoreline of 52-3 and set the stage for a bruising battle against the other teams.
The Rugby Africa Cup Repechage will be used to pick teams that will join Kenya and South Africa to represent the continent at the Rugby World Cup in 2023.
Burkina Faso opened the scoring in the first minute with Démé Kassoum touching down for a 5-0 lead. The Burkina Faso national team dominated the entire first half with a score of 30-0.
On resumption, they continued to pile up tries, conversions and penalties. The Burundian team scored their only three points after 32 minutes.
Burundi national coach Kinyinda Wakazadi promised after the match that his team would change tactics when they come up against Cameroon. He remains confident about the remaining matches, but expressed concern about the unfriendly weather in Ouagadougou.
“The problem is the heat and we are not used to playing in the heat,” Wakazadi observed.
On the other hand, Burkina Faso’s national coach, Cheikh Amidou Ouédraogo, dedicated the win to the victims of the terrorist attack that took place a day before the start of the competition. According to media reports, 100 people were killed in the attack.
For Mr Ouédraogo, the keys to success have been intensive preparation and the good selection of players. “We worked a lot. It’s been six months of work and we have very good players coming out of rugby schools,” he said.
The Rugby Africa Cup Repechage marks the restart of Rugby Africa’s competition programme and kicks off the qualification for the Rugby World Cup 2023. Burundi will compete against Cameroon on June9, and Burkina Faso will face Cameroon on June 13.
- A Tell report