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Likatola gun for Malawi



Luciah Phahla

Lesotho’s national rugby team, Likatola, are gunning for victory when they face Malawi on August 22 in the first-ever international meeting of the countries.

The tie will take place in Malawi.

The sides were supposed to have clashed last June in a Tri-Nations series involving Lesotho, as hosts, as well as Swaziland and Malawi. However, Malawi did not pitch up and Likatola coach Roy Zhou says his charges are looking to finally get one over their Southern African opponents.

Likatola, who made their international debut in 2014, are on a high after tasting success on foreign soil for the first time at May’s Africa Cup Division 2 championship in Rwanda.

Lesotho was pitted against Rwanda, Burundi and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) at the tournament. Despite arriving late and missing their semi-final against DRC, Likatola finished third after beating Burundi in the third-place playoff.

“We are going to Malawi with the aim to win and gain recognition. We want to beat Malawi in their own backyard,” Zhou told thepost on Monday

Zhou added he will rely on the same group of players that represented Lesotho in Rwanda as he continues to build the national side.

“We are going to use the same squad that went to Rwanda and maybe add two or three more new players, but it is still the same team,” he said.

He continued: “I am happy with the performance in Rwanda, the team played well but we want to improve our attack and score more points. It is one of the things we are focusing and working on improving. We want to win our games by scoring more points.”

Zhou also sang the praises of the young players in his squad who he said he had groomed into key players despite their tender ages.

The coach has a wide assortment of players in his budding squad; Sechaba Mokhele at 17 is the youngest player. The oldest is Litšitso Motšeremeli at 38.

“We have very young players; Sechaba Mokhele is 17 and he is still in high school. He is a very talented and experienced player, he plays in South Africa. Look at our captain (Samuel Takama), he is 19 years and talented. I do play with young players,” Zhou said.

Meanwhile, the annual Rugby 7’s tournament moves to Mazenod this weekend. The seven-a-side competition started last month and will continue until October.

Team that represented Lesotho in Rwanda:

Samuel Takama (captain), Tšeliso Mabitle,  Lehlohonolo Matsoso,  Mokone Chabana,  Khosana Thamae,  Motheo Mokhothu,  Lapi Matsoso,  Mphaki Karabo,  Tinashe Mugayi,  Molumo Rethabile,  Moleleki Moleleki,  Sedumo Monikasi,  Sechaba Mokhele,  Reatile Joale, Thabo Makuta, Thiba Thakhisi,  Motlatsi Moabi,  Lebohang Ntšinyi,  Tšepo Nomandla,  Litšitso Motšeremeli, Seabata Tsoeute,  Metsing Mahloane,  Tlali Nkuka


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