Injera rallies team ahead of World Cup qualification opener

Injera rallies team ahead of World Cup qualification opener
Collins Injera File Photo / Courtesy of Arigi Abiero

The Simbas begin their quest for the 2023 extravaganza against neighbours Uganda on Saturday and though Injera has admitted there is a bit of pressure, the team is keen to start well as they are straight knockout matches with no second chances.

Collins Injera has said the Simbas are keen not to repeat the same mistakes they made in 2014, as they begin their quest for a first ever qualification to the Rugby World Cup on Saturday when they take on Uganda in France.

In 2014, the Simbas were close to a first ever qualification to the World Cup after beating favourites Namibia in the first game, but a last day loss to Zimbabwe saw them lose the opportunity when it seemed the surest bet they would qualify.

“One lesson we picked from that time is never count your chicks before they hatch. We have to take a game at a time. We had put all our focus on the game against Namibia and after that everyone relaxed. We had created a big chance for ourselves but we didn’t handle it well,” Injera recalled, speaking to Michezoafrika.com.

He says that with five players from the 2014 in the current Simbas set up, they have had discussions around that failed bid and have picked lessons, hoping to do better.

The Simbas begin their quest for the 2023 extravaganza against neighbours Uganda on Saturday and though Injera has admitted there is a bit of pressure, the team is keen to start well as they are straight knockout matches with no second chances.

“Definitely a bit of pressure but we have managed it well with the mental sessions that we have had in training. Against Uganda it will be tough especially because it is a derby game. We have to go there and stick to our structures and just play,” he noted.

He says the training period in South Africa has been a game changer and has sharpened the team’s focus.

“The guys got more exposure and now they are also looking bigger and fitter and the rugby brain has also improved. Those preps in South Africa and if you also look at the two games we played here, it tells you the guys are psyched, eager to go and the confidence is high as well.”

“We just need to handle our emotions well and remain cool heads then we will be able to execute.”