Gaborone Hogs are the 2011 Botswana Rugby Union knock out cup champions.
The team beat Botswana Defence Force (BDF) Cheetahs 40 – 3 to clinch the championship.
Contrary to expectations of a fierce battle, the match became a one-sided encounter as the Hogs rode rough shod over the Cheetahs who had no response to the Hogs physical and pressing game.
The Hogs scored six tries, two penalties and two conversions to win the game while the Cheetahs’ three points consolation came in the form of a penalty scored by Noah Mogotsi.
Hogs showed their intention as early as the fourth minute when they took a 5 ÔÇô 0 lead after their flanker Stefan Van Zyl scored a try only for their scrum half, Bernie de Beer, to miss the resultant conversion.
The Hogs scrum half, however, did not have to wait long to redeem himself as a few minutes later, the Cheetahs conceded a penalty within the 22 metre mark of their posts, which he converted to give his team an 8 ÔÇô 0 lead.
The score line was, however, reduced later on as Mogotsi converted a penalty to keep the score to a respectable 8 ÔÇô 3 margin. The penalty conversion would, however, prove to be the last points for the Cheetahs as the Hogs took control of the game with their impressive front pack playing a pivotal role as they bossed the Cheetahs all around the park. Their importance was very visible in the 25th minute as they forced the Cheetahs to concede possession from the breakdown close to their goal line.
From the turnover, the ball went to the Hogs’ outside centre who took it across the line to increase the team’s lead to 13 ÔÇô 3 with de Beer failing once more to convert the resultant conversion. With a few minutes left to the end of the first half, Hogs scored their third try of the half when their eighth man Molibi Maphanyane crossed the line for touch.
However, Hogs’ fly half, Hugo Botha, who took the kicking role from de Beer, failed to convert the resultant conversion as the game went into recess with the Hogs leading 18 ÔÇô 3.
Things did not improve for the Cheetahs in the second half as the Hogs imposed their games on them, where they battered them. Hogs could have extended their lead as early as the third minute when Cheetahs conceded a penalty less than 22 metres from their goal posts only for Botha to kick the ball wide.
The Hogs, however, duly increased their points tally in the 60th minute when Botha converted a penalty to take the score to 21 ÔÇô 3. The penalty took the fight off the Cheetahs as they then conceded a further three tries with less than twenty minutes before the end of the game.
The second half tries, scored by Piete Botha, Hugo Botha and full back JJ Harris as well as two conversions by Hugo Botha took the score line to a massive 40 ÔÇô 3 in favour of the Hogs.
Speaking after his team’s impressive performance, Hogs’ coach Charl van Zyl expressed pleasure at his team’s good showing, which ensured that the team, which narrowly lost its league championship to UB Rhinos, does not finish the season with no silverware on their shelve.
For his part, BDF Cheetahs’s coach Jerry Mooketsi lamented lack of communication amongst his players and failure to play according to plan as their downfall.
“We knew that the Hogs have a heavy front pack. Our plan was to play in two or three phases, whereby the ball will be passed to our back pack to take Hogs with speed because they (Hogs) are slower. We, however, failed to do as such and played them according to their strength which lost us the game,” Mooketsi said.
For their efforts, Cheetahs had to settle for silver medals whilst the Hogs got a trophy and gold medals while Piete Botha was declared man of the match.