BDF Cheetahs proved that they are the powerhouse of Super rugby league when they bounced back to beat Gaborone Hogs 22-18 in a tightly-contested match played at Wharic Park over the weekend. Cheetahs used their power to score the much needed goal through a scrum in the dying minutes of the game after a foul.
The match was an opener of the second round of the league. Cheetahs took the lead through a brilliant penalty kick by Edward Oosthuizen in the 10th minute.
The fly half is a former Hogs player and he joined Cheetahs at the beginning of the season. Hogs quickly equalised a few minutes later through a nice kick taken by pint-sized full back, Omphile Kebobate. Cheetahs went on attack only to lose concentration at a crucial moment.
They were punished by Thabang Diphera who beat Cheetahs forwards with a 100 metre sprint in the 16th minute and Kebobate converted and Hogs took the lead with a score of 10-3.
Hogs were playing good rugby, with their backline that comprised Kebobate, Thato Muzila and Diphera causing havoc for Cheetahs.
Kebobate scored a try for Hogs in the 24th minute to extend the lead to 15-3.
Frastration was creeping in Cheetahs players and the match was now physical with threats of fists fight between the two camps.
Cheetahs were unable to take advantage of a scrum taken a few metres from the score line. Hogs held on to their lead and went for break at the top.
The second half started with Cheetahs showing intention of getting back into the match with a try scored by Nathaniel Godirwang with Oneile Tumelo completing the task with a conversion in the 50th minute. Cheetahs were closing the gap and the scoreboard was now placed at 15-10. That did not bother Hogs as they scored through Kebobate’s penalty to take it to 18-10. Cheetahs were unfortunate because Tumelo later on failed to score two penalties.
Cheetahs were also unlucky as a try by Lempaletse Ngaka was disallowed in the 72nd minute. Cheetahs continued
Cheetahs coach, Shine Ngakaetsile told Monitor Sport that Hogs caught them off guard and it was clear their opponents had prepared well.
He said their plan was to continue with their good run from the first round, but that proved difficult.
“I have taught my players laws of the game and I advised them to forget about the match official and focus. They were unhappy about the calls that were made by the referee,” he said.
Ngakaetsile said they have the best line outs, rucks and scrums which means they had to dig deep to win the match.
Hogs coach, Louie Fourie said Cheetahs are always tough and their plan was to match them upfront. He said his players stood up to that, but were killed by lack of experience.
“My heart is warm because we have a good team for the future. Cheetahs have a structured team while we are still growing. I am not upset and I am grateful,” he said.
Cheetahs: Goloswang Twadimpe, Mogatle Gaboratanelwe, Oorabile Chiche, Ernest Eddie, Ngaka, Ketshedile Matenanga, Omphile Dabula, Kagiso Ditsebe, Tumelo, Oosthuizen, Mathews Masike, Lovemore Jameson, Elijah Radihephi, Kagiso Bafana and Ponias Mandevu.
Hogs: Kabelo Masire, Kaone Gopolang, Thebeetsile Sedimo, Gomolemo Mogakolodi, Thato Muzila, Derrick Gasebonne, Otlhe Marafe, Atamelang Rannyena, Kobobate, Keboletse, Diphera and Dan Madisa.