|Likoatola preparations are going well says coach Nyasha-Zhou....|
Lesotho rugby coach Roy Nyasha-Zhou says he is thrilled with the progress of the national team, Likoatola, in its preparations for October’s Rugby Africa 1D South competition.
Nyasha-Zhou selected a revamped 35-man Lesotho squad in March to begin preparing for the tournament and the side has been in training since.
The team got its first taste of action together weeks ago when it played as Maseru Select at the Welkom Easter Rugby tournament hosted by the Bronville Pioneer Club in Free State, South Africa over Easter.
Maseru Select finished second losing to home side Bronville Pioneer in the final.
It was their only loss.
Maseru Select overpowered Thabong 14-0 in their opening game before outclassing Rovers 29-12. Nyasha-Zhou’s charges then overcame Bronville Pioneer 12-10 in their last round robin game before falling 26-7 to the hosts in the final.
Nyasha-Zhou said the experience of playing against South African teams was the first for several players in his squad but their performance was excellent. The event was the 22nd edition of the Welkom Easter Rugby tournament and the fourth year a Lesotho team has taken part.
Importantly, the outing served as part of preparations for the Rugby Africa 1D South showdown where Lesotho will host Swaziland and Malawi. The tournament will be held in Mafeteng and the winner will stand a chance to gain promotion to the 1C tier of Africa’s rugby pyramid.
“The preparations for the qualifying games are on track, we are preparing so that we are ready for anything from our opponents,” Nyasha-Zhou said. “The performance in Welkom shows that the players will be ready to stand the pressure (against Swaziland and Malawi).”
|Maseru Select in action at Welkom Easter Tournament...|
Evidence of Maseru Select’s fine display was left-wing Lebohang Ntšinyi being selected as the Welkom competition’s best player.
Nyasha-Zhou said the tournament has boosted his team’s confidence as it continues to prepare.
“We are able to stun teams that used to beat us in the past three years. We just still need to strengthen their front row and our scrums,” Nyasha-Zhou said before issuing a warning to Likoatola’s opponents Swaziland and Malawi.
“We are not going to disrespect them but they must be ready for war.”
Maseru Select line-up in Welkom:
15. Sechaba Mokhele, 14. Alex Ncheke, 13. Thabo Makuta, 12. Motlatsi Moabi, 11. Lebohang Ntšinyi, 10. Tinashe Mugayi, 9. Reatile Joele, 8. Tšepo Nomandla, 7. Litšitso Motšeremeli, 6 Rethabile Sekola, 5. Tlali Nkuka, 4. Motheo Mokhothu, 3. Realeboha Segoete, 2. Mokone Chabana, 1. Thabiso Letsie
16. Ntsane Mahlatsi, 17. Fetang Selialia, 18. Metsing Mahloane, 19. Samuel Takama, Karabo Mphaki, 20. Rethabile Molumo, 21. Mosala Makeka
Kalinyanae Makhetha (backs coach)
Moleleki Moleleki (assistant coach)
Roy Nyasha Zhou (head coach)
Africa Cup 1D Groups: