Likatola sound battle cry
National rugby team coach Roy Nyasha Zhou has declared his team ready for Saturday’s rugby contest against Botswana.
the match is set for Bambatha tšita Sports arena and forms part of lesotho’s preparations for the africa Cup championship to be held in Rwanda from 15-21 June.
the Botswana team is expected in the country today and would be camping in ty while the lesotho team has set base in Mohale’s Hoek ahead of the crunch tie.
“this is a big match for us which is also part of our preparations for the africa Cup Division 2 tournament set for Kigali in June,” Zhou said.
“Botswana is one of those countries already ranked (by Rugby africa) so our target is also to see our team being ranked. this is the platform to put our team on the map and make a name for ourselves, hence we will be going for a win and call on the nation to come to the match in numbers and support us.”
the Rwanda competition would see likatola, as the lesotho team is also known, face hosts Rwanda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
However, speaking about the Botswana match, Zhou said his charges would have to be at their best to avenge a 44-3 defeat they suffered in June 2014.
“it is not really about revenge, but we will have that in mind going into that match,” said Zhou.
“We know they are a tough side, but we are very motivated and raring to go and get the win that we want.
“our team has been boosted by the arrival of five players based in South Africa who bring the much-needed international exposure into the team.”
The five players who ply their trade at South african universities are lebohang Ntšinyi, thabo Makuta, Sechaba Mokhele and the Matsoso brothers lapi and lehlo- honolo.
“i really feel we have grown as a team and the players are in good shape to give their best against Botswana,” Zhou added.
Meanwhile, Zhou downplayed the absence of Giants players whose team pulled out of the Federation of lesotho Rugby in February this year, citing alleged maladministration and poor refereeing.
the federation responded by slapping the team with a two-year suspension which effectively ruled out the players from national duty until 2018.
The Botswana match would be the first time lesotho play an international tie without players from the country’s leading club. Nine of the players featured in lesotho’s last match against Swaziland in July last year in which likatola won 13-10.
“it’s true we had nine of their players in our last match against Swaziland, but we still had fifteen from the other teams and we have made peace with that issue and have moved on.
“We still have good players capable of making us proud which will be our goal going into the match against Botswana,” Zhou said.
Likatola squad Samuel takama (captain), tšeliso Mabitle, lehlohonolo Matsoso, Mokone Chabana, Khosana thamae, Motheo Mokhothu, lapi Matsoso, Mphaki Karabo, tinashe Mugayi, Molumo Rethabile, Moleleki Moleleki, Sedumo Monikasi, Sechaba Mokhele, Reatile Joale, thabo Makuta, thiba thakhisi, Motlatsi Moabi, lebohang Ntšinyi, tšepo Nomandla, litšitso Motšeremeli, Seabata tsoeute, Metsing Mahloane, tlali Nkuka.
Likatola squad in this file picture.