MABOTE Beavers and Maseru Warriors will be looking to book a place in the final of the 2023 Econet Rugby Championship Play-Offs as they meet in the semi-final this Saturday.
Nov. 10, 2023
4 min read
Beavers’ momentum versus unpredictable Warriors
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The winners between the two will meet either Liqhomane or Academy next weekend to decide who the new champions are.
This year’s Rugby Championship play-offs will take place at Makoanyane Barracks Ground.
The Beavers beat the Warriors 34-10 in the two’s last encounter in the Econet Rugby League last month.
Warriors’ coach Morapeli Motaung said their upcoming match against the Beavers is going to be a different ball game altogether.
He said the Warriors squad that the Beavers beat last month was the weakest side to play against, and this time around, the Beavers would face the strongest Warriors side.
“The game in which they defeated us was the one we played after a long break, and unlike us, Beavers did not rest during the break. They played about two matches outside the country, and so they had match fitness compared to us,” said Motaung.
“We used unfit players and we lost, but after that we did well, and so we are going to this particular match with confidence.”
Motaung further said, fortunately for his team, some of his charges who were injured in the last matches would be available for selection against the Beavers this weekend.
He said they were expecting some of their players who are based outside the country to come to the playoffs.
“Two of our players who are based in South Africa have confirmed that they will be available for the playoffs, and probably most of them will be there for the final next week.”
Motaung said the Warriors had four players based in India, such as Ntang Matee, among others, and a few in South Africa, like Tšepo Mohasi, Lapi Matsoso, and Bonki Mochesane.
He said all of these players are studying in both South Africa and India, except for Mochesane, who is working in South Africa.
“They are still our players, and when they are at home, they benefit us.”
Motaung further said, “But we are not going to underestimate Beavers. They are a strong team.
“But this is going to be a different ball game altogether."
However, Motaung said the Warriors would miss the services of one of their flanks, Lebatla Lebatla, whom he said he has just been employed at the Pulihali Dam.
“So the chances that Lebatla would be available this weekend are very slim because he was there last weekend,” he said.
Beavers’ coach, Letsielo Mabitle said the Warriors game would be difficult.
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“The Warriors’ game is not going to be easy,” said Mabitle.
“They are one team that you cannot plan against because they have many players who are based outside the country and who are likely to be available for the playoffs.”
Mabitle further said, “So we cannot plan against them based on their last performance because we are likely to play against a different Warriors side.”
But Mabitle said they would not be intimidated by that, adding that it would be 15 against 15 on the ground.
“In fact, we are determined to win that game. For us, it is a final before the final, and if we could win this one, the next match will be a bonus."
Mabitle said that in a knockout tournament, it is crucial to win the first match.
However, Mabitle said the Beavers would play without the services of their two regular players due to injuries.
The Liqhomane-Academy match will also be an interesting semi-final tie.