Likatola bullish despite thrashing
National rugby team coach, Roy Nyasha Zhou, says Saturday’s 41-5 loss to Botswana was “a learning curve” for his charges.
likatola, as the team is called, were comprehensively beaten at Bambatha tšita Sports arena in a preparatory friendly match for the africa Cup Division 2 tournament to be held in Rwanda from 15-21 May.
this was the second time the two national teams were facing each other and after Botswana beat lesotho 44-3 in July 2014, expectations were likatola would turn the tables this time around.
However, it was the visitors who ran out comfortable winners but Zhou insists the players put up a better show than they did two years ago.
among those who watched Saturday’s match was King letsie iii, who is an avid follower of the game.
“We knew Botswana play at a higher level than us, but that is the kind of preparations we needed ahead of the big competition in Rwanda,” Zhou said.
“For us, it was about testing our players, finding the right combinations and identifying our weaknesses and i think we achieved that in the match.”
lesotho only managed a single try from Sechaba Mokhele but Zhou believes the team could have done much better had they not missed five penalties.
“like i said, Botswana are ahead and have been playing this game longer than us. But there were a lot of positives for us in this match which we will take to the tournament in Kigali,” said Zhou.
“We have about a week-and-a-half to continue with our preparations and we have learned from our mistakes.
“all we have to do now is dust ourselves up and prepare for the battle awaiting us in Kigali.”
team captain, Samuel takama, echoed his coach’s sentiments, adding Botswana were ideal opponents ahead of the Rwanda rumble.
“it was good training for us because we knew even before the match that it was going to be tough.
“they are miles ahead of us as far as the sport is concerned so we knew we had a real battle on our hands,” takana said.
“of course, we would have wanted a better result and performance, but what matters is we learned our mistakes. it is up to us to use the few days left before the competition starts to improve and be a better team.”
likatola will depart for Rwanda on thursday next week and face hosts Rwanda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo in the tournament.
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.
National rugby team.