Handling errors were the downfall of BDF Cheetahs during the Super Rugby league encounter against Gaborone Hogs at Duma FM grounds on Saturday.
Hogs were merciless as they punished Cheetahs 31-13. Hogs took the lead with a well-taken penalty by Pride Nyameni in the third minute to make it 3-0.
Cheetahs tried to fight for a try, but they were generally not convincing. Hogs backline was more dominant, forcing Cheetahs to lose easy balls.
Cheetahs were on attack in the 13th minute through Lovemore Jamison who unfortunately failed to handle the ball.
Hogs counter-attacked with James Vambe scoring the first try of the game. Pride converted to extend the lead to 10-0 in the 22nd minute.
Cheetahs were given a penalty a few minutes later and it was scored by Lekgobo Bafana to make it 10-3. The gods seemed to smiled on Cheetahs as they were given another penalty in the 31st minute and Bafana scored to make it 10-6.
Vambe went for a try in the 39th minute and Nyameni converted. The two sides went into recess with Hogs leading 17-6.
James continued being a thorn in Cheetahs’ flesh with another try at the beginning of the second half. Hogs kicker, Nyameni finished the job and extended the lead to 24-6.
The floodgates were now open and Hogs matched unhindered to sure victory.
Vambe got another try in the 47th minute and Nyameni’s clean kick made it 29-6. Hogs’ next try came a minute later through Vambe and a conversion followed to make it 31-6.
Cheetahs were now completely out of the game. Stanley Simon
Speaking to Monitor Sport, Hogs coach Shaun Lees said it is fantastic to win the first game of the season.
“It is normally an untidy game because players are used to pre-season games which do not have pressure.
I am glad we stuck to the game plan. There were a few mistakes but we will rectify. To come up with such a huge margin against Cheetahs is a huge accomplishment,” he said.
Lees said he was to make some substitutions due to fatigue while others were tactical. He said they have to go and work on the line-outs because that is where they got punished.
For his part, Cheetahs coach, Gilbert Machobane said they had a brilliant plan but the challenge was execution.
“This was our first game since we stopped playing in July. During the off-season we had one friendly match. We made a lot of handling errors and to be able to execute, you must have ball retention. There were many youngsters in the team because most of the senior players were committed somewhere else,” he said.
Machobane said his assignment is to work on ball handling errors but that was their downfall.
Other results: Women’s 7s: Cheetahs 34-0 BUAN, Hogs 56-0 BUAN and Hogs 24-5 Cheetahs. Reserve: Cheetahs 17-0 Hogs. President’s cup: Hogs 24-5.
Hogs - 32
Cheetahs - 13