Likoatola hope to end Botswana hoodoo

Likoatola hope to end Botswana hoodoo

Maseru – Lesotho’s national rugby team Likoatola is hoping to end its Botswana hoodoo when the sides lock horns in an international friendly in June.
Botswana beat Likoatola 40-5 last April at the Bambatha Tšita Sports Arena and also defeated Lesotho 44-3 in June 2014 in a match played in Gaborone.
Despite the poor record, Federation of Lesotho Rugby (FLR) secretary general Litšitso Motšeremeli said Botswana offers Likoatola the type of competition they need before contesting the Rugby Africa 1D South Tournament in October.

Lesotho has been pitted against Malawi and Swaziland at the regional promotional competition and Motšeremeli said the FLR hopes to secure more preparatory games for Likoatola ahead of the tournament if its finances allow. For now, Lesotho’s only date on the calendar is the June 3 tie against Botswana’s Vultures in Gaborone.

“Botswana is our first friendly match of 2017,” Motšeremeli said. “They are a very strong side and they will give us very good competition before the 1D tournament.”
Motšeremeli added: “We would love to play many more friendly matches before the tournament but we have challenges with our finances.  The last time Botswana was here they beat us 40-5 and we believe that is not a bad score in rugby. Besides Botswana we would love to play other strong countries but, like I mentioned before, we still have challenges with finances.”

Lesotho coach Roy Nyasha-Zhou said he will retain the core of the squad that finished third at the Africa Cup Division 2 championship in Rwanda last May. However, the return of Giants Rugby after a one-year suspension is a boost for the national side and could see additions to the team. Likoatola have already started their preparations for the tri-nations tournament in October which be held in Malawi or Swaziland and whose winner will be promoted to Rugby Africa’s 1C tier next year.

Lesotho’s international results:
Malawi 11-31 Lesotho (August, 2016)
Burundi 3-6 Lesotho (May, 2016)
Lesotho 5-40 Botswana (April, 2016)
Lesotho 13-10 Swaziland (July, 2015)
Botswana 44-3 Lesotho (June, 2014)
Swaziland 13-0 Lesotho (May, 2014)
Lesotho 5-3 Swaziland (February, 2014)

Luciah Phahla

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