The Botswana National Rugby Under-18 Boys team, “Young Vultures”, went, saw and conquered Swaziland in the first leg of the Confederation of African Rugby played at Somhlolo stadium last week.
Under the tutelage of Tosca Segaise and Craig Dube, the team dominated their Swazi counterparts, “Isihlangu”, and displayed lucid rugby movements. The “Young Vultures” won the game 23-20.
Leading the Botswana team’s onslaught was UB Rhinos’ evergreen teenage sensation, Tshoganetso Katse. He showed that, with time, he could rank as one of the finest rugby players this country has ever produced. The youngster is renowned for his unparralled commitment to tackling and also for his willingness to get involved in attacks.
However, the team needs to work harder on its fitness level as they nearly allowed the hosts to crawl back into the game.
The team’s relatively suspect fitness level may have been compounded by the fact that most of the members are not attached to league teams. They only play school rugby.
This, though, does not mean that the players are short of talent. In the Swazi encounter, school kids, Lehumo Makhubu and Shatiso Ntibi of Legae Academy, Karabo Modimakwane of Molefi Secondary School and Mgomotsi Masole of Delta Waters School in Maun, were a constant thorn in the flesh of the gallant hosts.
The Botswana Rugby Union needs a pat on the back for their sound development structures.
The “Young Vultures” meet “Isihlangu” in the return leg in Gaborone on September 9.
Staying with Rugby, BDF Cheetahs were brought down to size by UB Rhinos who clobbered them 23-13. Cheetahs rested most of their regular players for this match ahead of their semi-final showdown against Francistown Tuskers.
Rhinos’ victory could be a psychological boost ahead of their semi-final battle against an equally uncompromising Gaborone Hogs.
Tuskers could not spur their homeboys BDF Sharks whom they overran 43-3. Sharks are yet to win a game in Rugby this year.
Hogs beat an ever-improving EMG Gunners side 34-19 in Selebi-Phikwe.