UB Rhinos were tamed by Gaborone Hogs in a Super Rugby League match played at Wharic Park on Saturday afternoon. Hogs started dominating the match from the first whistle with quick two tries and conversions to take a 14-0 lead.
Rhinos tried getting back in the match with no luck. Failure to connect passes and communication between Rhinos players was their downfall.
Rhinos were awarded a penalty in the 25th minute which Bonolo Khiwa scored to make 14-3. Hogs did not take it kindly as Brighton Chinyinga made a brilliant run in the right wing to get a try for Hogs. The try was a result of poor defence by Rhinos defence after failing to block his way. Tapiwa Malenga failed to convert for Hogs. With Hogs leading 19-3, Jacob Musinya broke away again fortunately Rhinos the backline was able to clear the mess few minutes before the break.
Chinyinga continued where he left in the first half scoring a try immediately after kick-off of the second half. He caught Rhinos players napping with Malenga converting to extend the margin to 26-3. The try changed the complexion of the game as Rhinos were now finding their feet. They were awarded a penalty just a few metres outside the 22 metres line. Kaelo Mogotsi missed the target by a few inches. Rhinos were now back in the game, dominating attack. Thato Maifala connected a nice pass with Tshoganetso Katse and Khiwa completed the move with a try in the 62nd minute. Mogotsi failed to send the kick home again. The scoreline was now at 26-8.
Rhinos made some changes as a way of pushing for more tries, throwing in the fresh legs of Kitso Maduo in the 69th minute. Mogotsi gave Rhinos the last try
Speaking to Sport Monitor after the game, Hogs assistant coach Tendai Mojaji was happy that they have qualified for the semi-final. “It was just a dead rubber game. We just wanted to play and fulfil the fixture. First half was good and they did not come to the party in the second half. My players failed to keep the momentum and we lost the second half,” Mojaji said.
Rhinos coach, Thatayaone Malele said they made a number of mistakes in the first half. He said his charges are rusty after failing to play two league matches as their opponents, Botho Ryders did not show up.
“We have been trying new players in the backline and we struggle to tackle. In some instances we lacked focus. We offloaded unnecessary because we were being tackled. We did not start the season well and we have been struggling all along,’ he said.
Rhinos: Katlego Mhusiwa, Maifala, Joe Mosalagae, Emmanuel Sperring, Botho Pofelo, Tshepang Rasekaba, Jordan Ngwako, Katse, Dennis Kopano, Mogotsi, Phenyo Motlalekgosi, Keorapetse Lesotlho, Mani Mani, Khiwa and Kutlwano Mogodi
Hogs: Reguie Durera, George Batsalalwe, Kabo Moraban, Emmanuel Zangari, Musinya, Chinyinya, Ronan Mcgann, Koketso Kgaletsetse, Obakeng Prince, Rockey Rangariria, James Vambe, Temo Gluka, Rob Phobe and Malenga