QATAR coach Usaia Biumaiwai exuded confidence that their fifth-place finish, after a 24-10 play-off victory against Iran at the Aspire ground last week, would boost the national team and help the sport grow in the country.
“We had a good tournament. We fielded a relatively young team and most boys have just started playing at this level. It was a good exposure for them. I hope our performance will help the sport develop in the country,” Biumaiwai told Doha Stadium Plus.
Qatar started with a thumping 53-0 victory against Nepal, but could not maintain the tempo as they lost 5-26 to the Philippines in the next match. The hosts then went down to Thailand 5-24 in the quarterfinal, with Rakan Al Mutawah scoring all five tries.
“We made a couple of errors while some refereeing decisions went against us, but those’re part of the game. In the fourth and fifth matches, we played to our strengths and won. To build a solid team, we need good preparation. Our next target will be to play more international competitions, so that the boys get exposure,” said Biumaiwai, who had earlier coached India and Thailand.
The 54-year-old said coaching rugby in Asian countries was a big challenge.
“It’s a big challenge to coach rugby to those who know nothing about the sport. It’s great to see that the Qatar Rugby Federation is passionate about developing the sport,” he added.