Kingdom Select plan to upset Collegiants

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NTHAKO MAJORO

MASERU – The Lesotho women rugby 15s picking team, Kingdom Select, is hoping to continue their winning streak when they meet Collegiants in the Free State Women’s Rugby League at Old Grey’s in Bloemfontein, South Africa tomorrow. Select won their league’s opening game 30-22 over Spartens last Saturday, also in Bloemfontein. Collegiants beat Select 15-7 in the final of Sevens tournament in Bloemfontein last month.

That was after the team beat Botshabelo 15-10, BDF 39-0, Wolves 41-0 and Collegiants 31-5 in the quarter-finals and another Wolves team 28-0 in the semi-finals to book their place in the final. Select head coach, Roy Zhou, therefore said the upcoming match against Collegiants would not be an easy encounter, even though they were looking to upset them this time around.   “We are going to play against a very tough team in Collegiants. It is a team which won the Sevens,” said Zhou in an interview with Public Eye on Tuesday this week.

“We met them in the final of the Sevens so it’s a revenge match for us and we are looking to upset them.” Zhou further said: “I am sure if we can win this game this weekend it will be a good indicator that we are going to end up at the top in that league at the end of the season because Collegiants are the best team in the league.”   Zhou said his team’s preparations for the Collegiants match went well even though they were going to miss the services of some of their key players because of injuries and others because of not having passports.

“We are training at Mejametalana, the LDF (Lesotho Defence Force) Air Wing. We train twice a week or more sometimes, and our preparation is going well for the Collegiants match. “We have a pool of more than 30 players but our problems are passports for them and injuries to some our key players.” Zhou further said: “Players who will be missed are ’Mabothata Nthlare and Limakatso Makhakeng, both from NUL (National University of Lesotho) Spears.” Ntlhare sustained an injury during the Sevens tournament in the previous weeks, also in Bloemfontein, South Africa.

“She got an injury from the Sevens tournament. She had a concussion. “We also have Limakatso (Makhakeng) who broke her arm. They are both NUL Spears and are both very good players.” Among the players who did not have passports was Nthabeleng Lebetsa from Mabote Beavers. Lebetsa, as a result, missed last Saturday’s match against Spartens. But Zhou was confident that the Beavers player would be available for selection tomorrow since passports problems were being resolved by the Federation of Lesotho Rugby (FLR).

“There is also another player from Beavers, Nthabeleng Lebetsa, who is not injured but had passport problems. But I think she will be available this weekend so we will be having a fairly strong team.” Despite all that, Zhou said his team’s confidence was very good ahead of the Collegiants match. “These girls are now very confident. They can’t believe it themselves that they beat teams like that in that league. They have grown in confidence and there is a big competition for positions.” Select’s next games in the league will be against Botshabelo on May 28 and CUT on June 2.

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