UB Rhinos finally redeemed themselves by beating Gaborone Hogs 17-14 in a Super Rugby match played at Wharic Park on Saturday.
It was Rhinos first win after losing the past two matches against BDF Cheetahs and Canon Jaguars.
Hogs took an early lead with a try scored by Damelin Motlogelwa after an exchange from Tsaone Mokalake. Hogs scored the conversion to take a 7-0 lead.
The score changed the momentum of the game. Keorapetse Lesotlho was on attack for Rhinos in the 10th minute but the run was cut short by Hogs defence.
Rhinos were awarded a penalty and fly-half, Tshoganetso Katse missed the target by a few inches. Laurel Rangarai caught Rhinos napping in the 14th minute, making a brilliant sprint from the middle of the park and scored a try.
The try was not allowed by the referee, Alex Maphosa. Rhinos continued piling pressure on their opponents.
Hogs finally cracked in the 18th minute and Osi Kopano scored a try. Katse converted to tie the score at 7-7. Hogs were now unsettled and Rhinos did not waste time as they went for another try by right flanker Tshephang Rasekaba a few minutes later.
Katse failed to increase the margin as he failed to score the kick. Rhinos were now leading 12-7. The game was becoming tough for Hogs and they were forced to make substitutions. Rhinos were on the scoreboard again through a try scored by Ntebogang Mathaka and Katse failed to convert on the stroke of half time.
Hogs camped in Rhinos half after recess as they pushed for a score. Their hard work finally paid off in the 57th minute with a try scored
Rhinos won a penalty a few metres from the 22-metre line, unfortunately Katse, who was having a bad day missed the target which would have seen Rhinos extend the lead. Right centre, Lesotlho made a good run but he run out of luck as he was tackled a few metres from the goal area.
Speaking to Sport Monitor after the game, Hogs coach, Lourie Fouire was not happy with the way his side played. He said all the preparations they did for the last two months went down the drain.
“It is back to the drawing board for us. We are running a club here. We are not professionals, but there must be protocol. Lack of discipline killed us today,” he said. Rhinos coach, Thataone Malele said they were aware that Hogs players are youngsters and the plan was to keep the ball away from them and build pressure with ball in hand.
“Our stamina was in the wings. We were not able to utilise that,” he said. Malele said they have a break for three weeks, which they will use to work on their weaknesses.
Hogs: Eleezar Ndlovu, Mpho Raditodi, Anthony Ueglittie, Mokalake, Molebi Maphanyane, George Batsalelwang, Vusi Gunda, Ronan McGunn, Koketso Galetshetse, Motlogelwa, Ronaldo Phobe, Temo Gilika, Junior Matlhare, Rangarayi and Tshireletso Kelebogang.
Rhinos: Thato Maifala, Khiwa Bonolo, Chawa Ibineng, Ronald Modise, Batho Phofelo, Bame Gaonyadiwe, Rasekaba, Mathaka, Tsogo Ngwako, Katse, Phadza Itai, Phenyo Motlalekgosi, Lesotlho, Kopano and Mzwandile Munyamani.