Gaborone Hogs' dream of winning the Botswana Rugby Union (BRU) Super Rugby league title came true over the weekend when they beat their cross-town rivals, BDF Cheetahs 20-15 at Wharic Park.
Hogs missed out on the title last year when Cheetahs successfully defended the league. The Saturday victory was the second for Hogs against Cheetahs this season.
The match started at a high tempo with both sides pushing for early lead. Hogs were the first to draw blood in the ninth minute through Roberto Phobe. Full back, Tapiwa Malenga scored the conversion. The 7-0 lead rubbed Cheetahs the wrong way as they pushed to settle the score. Goloswang Twadimpe who was playing as a loose head prop powered through Hogs backline and made a brilliant pass to Eddie Ernest who went for a try in the 15th minute. Cheetahs gained momentum and got another try through Shamwaka James a few minutes later. Edward Oosthuizen failed to score the conversion. Cheetahs took a 12-7 lead.
The hosts were awarded a penalty in the 24th minute and the clean kick of Malenga reduced the margin to 12-10. Hogs were at it again with another penalty to overtake Cheetahs with a 13-12 lead. Cheetahs scrum half, Kagiso Molefhi paced through Hogs’ backline and scored a try. Referee, Alex Maphosa, disallowed the goal.
Hogs continued their slaughter of Cheetahs with Koketso Galetshetse getting as try to extend the lead to 20-12. The try forced Cheetahs to make some changes removing Lempaletse Ngaka and Oosthuizen. They were awarded a penalty and reduced the points to 20-15. Cheetahs began putting their opposition under pressure with the game being played mostly in Hogs half. The hard work paid off when Stanley Simon scored
The celebrations were short-lived though as Maphosa once again overruled it. Speaking after the game, Seabe Gabatladiwe told Sport Monitor that the game went according to plan.
“Our two tries were denied by touch judge (Zee Khumalo). He was far from action and it was surprising for him to make such decisions,” he said.
Gabatladiwe said it was unfortunate that local rugby is one sided and people can decide which team wins.
“I was given red card without any reason. There is too much infighting and that is bad for us,” Gabatladiwe said.
Hogs captain, Ronan McGann said the two sides brought their best game on the day. “The win means a lot to us. It was a well-deserved win and a cherry on top especially after beating Cheetahs three times. They did the same to us last season,” he said. McGann said they have learnt that for them to succeed, they should always be united.
Hogs: Biggie Derera, George Batsalelwang, Kabo Morobone, Kgoboko Kgoboko, Molibi Maphanyane, Emmanuel Zangari, Brighton Chinyanga, McGann, Pride Nyameni, Obakeng Gouwe, Junior Matlhare, James Vambe, Temo Gilika, Phobe and Malenga.
Cheetahs: Twadimpe, Mogotsi Noah, Oarabile Chiche, Eddie, Ngaka, Kenneth Motlhabani, Kagiso Ditsebe, Ketshedile Matenanga, Molefhi, Oosthuizen, Edward Masike, Mathews Masike, Simon, Lovemore Jameson,James and Lekgobo Bafana.