Liqhomane bags first rugby title

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Mikia Kalati

THE LDF rugby team, Liqhomane, was last weekend crowned Champions of the Federation of Lesotho Rugby (FRL) for the first time following a narrow 16-15 victory over Giants Rugby in the final of a four-team play-off.

Liqhomane ended the rugby campaign on top of the log having collected 34 points after 10 games followed by Maseru Warriors in second on 26 points after the same number of games.

The two top teams headed to a four-team play-off alongside Giants and NUL Spears to determine the winner of the 2018 edition of the league.

Liqhomane were rampant in the semi-finals handing NUL Spears a 35-0 defeat before they were given a run for their money by Giants and only edged them 16-15 to clinch the title.

Federation of Lesotho Rugby public relations officer Morapeli Motaung told this publication that the LDF team’s success is attributed to being more organised that the rest of the league teams.

“Yes, they are a new team but it wasn’t a surprise that they were crowned champions,” Motaung said.

“We were expecting it because they have a lot of advantages unlike other teams in the league. Their squad is always together and trains twice daily. Other teams are made up of players who are still studying while others are employed and can only train in the evenings.

“They have also been able to lure the best players from other teams. So, they really had a huge advantage and were favourites for the league because their standards are a bit higher.”

The FRL publicist also said their league has grown immensely despite financial challenges as they have no sponsors for the league.

“Our sport is growing very well despite the challenges of lacking sponsors. Most of the teams have managed to attract new players and it shows that Basotho are getting to love the sport more.

“The competition has been very good between our six teams in the league unlike in the past when Giants won the title every season. Each of the teams is now strong enough to be a contender in the race for the title.

“Our matches can now also attract sizeable crowds and the morale is always high on match days.

“Of course, it’s very difficult to run the competition without a sponsor but we are hopeful that something will come up in the near future,” Motaung said.

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