A fierce battle is expected this coming Saturday when local rugby giants, Gaborone Hogs and BDF Cheetahs, come face to face in the finals of the Botswana Rugby Union (BRU) Knock Out Cup.
With both teams with a point to prove, it will be a real battle, which either of the team can win.
With the Knock Out Cup being the last silverware of the season and both teams having lost out in the league championship, both sides will be eager to close the season with a trophy in the cabinet.
For the Hogs, the game will be an opportunity to show that their dominance in the rugby league for the past two seasons is no fluke. After failing to retain their league championship, the Hogs will be eager not to lose two finals in a season.
“We have to make use of this opportunity to win some silverware this season. After losing the championship to the UB Rhinos and this is the opportunity we cannot miss,” Hogs coach, Charl Van Zyl, said in an interview.
According to the Hogs coach, the team is ready for the weekend showdown with the Cheetahs and he is hoping for a fully fit team to take to the field come Saturday.
“We have two minor injuries from the weekend but we are hopeful that these players will pass a fitness test before the weekend game,” Van Zyl added.
For his part, Modisa Kadimo, of BDF Cheetahs, said the weekend clash will be an opportunity for his team to win silverware in close to three years. “The morale in our camp is very high and our players are looking forward to playing this game. We have had very good preparations and have our full team for the weekend,” Kadimo added.
With the team having booked their place in the finals by beating the league champions, UB Rhinos, Kadimo is optimistic that they can cause another upset by beating the much fancied Hogs’ side.
According to Kadimo, the game between the two sides will be a battle of styles as their types of play are different from each other.
“The Hogs usually play and win their games through their pack (forwards) while we mostly rely on our backline. Coming into the game, we will be looking to use our mobility to win the game,” he added.
Despite his optimism, Kadimo fully knows that the game against the Hogs will not be an easy one considering the experience and the quality they have in their ranks.
The Hogs side have among others the likes of Tyrone Warburton, JJ Harris, Eddie Oostheizen and Molibi Maphanyane who can always win the game for them. The players have shown their pedigree throughout the season as they were very instrumental in the league which saw the Hogs lose only one game.
The Hogs’ strength lies in their watertight forward pack, which the Cheetahs will have to breach more often if they are to win. If they are to win the game, the Cheetahs will have to try and use their speedy backline to unsettle the Hogs. The cheetahs’ players, among others, Kabo Batsile, Kagiso Molefhi and Gomolemo Mogakolodi will have to be at their best if the team is to win the game.
The game between the two is billed for Wharic Park this Saturday.