Rugby season off to a flyer


Mikia Kalati

Lesotho’s 2015 rugby season got off to a flyer last weekend, with four of the six teams in the topflight league in action at Pitso Ground in Maseru.

The league, which was launched by the Federation of Lesotho Rugby (FLR) in 2014 comprising Giants, NUL Spears, CAS Warriors, and Black Cobras, added Warriors and Mabote Bearers to the fold this year.

Last Saturday, all the six teams were supposed to play their first matches of the season—only for the CAS Warriors/Black Cobras tie to be cancelled after the former arrived late.

At the end, only Warriors, Mabote Bearers, Giants, and NUL Spears took to the field, with fans being treated to some enterprising rugby.

According to FLR secretary, Litšitso Motšeremeli, the season-opener was a roaring success, adding he hopes the same spirit of competition would prevail when the league programme continues this weekend.

“You have to understand that rugby is still a new sport here in our country, but we were impressed with the big turnout by the fans, as well as the competition on display on the day,” Motšeremeli said on Tuesday.

“However, despite the fierce contests, it was a relief that there were no serious injuries to any of the players.”

Although the FLR was only launched in 2012, Motšeremeli says the sport had realised “phenomenal” growth since then.

Maseru Kings, now known as Giants Rugby Club, were the first competitive team to be launched under FLR, and plays in one of South Africa’s amateur leagues in the Free State Province.

However, Motšeremeli lamented lack of sponsorship, which he said was affecting FLR’s programmes.

“We don’t have a sponsor for the league, but still decided to go ahead and start our season last weekend. We have been in talks with a few companies, and hopefully, some of them will come on board,” said Motšeremeli.

“We are delighted with what we saw on the opening day, especially the way the spectators responded. I believe things will get better with time, particularly once we secure sponsorship.”

Last week’s results: Warriors 16-5 Mabote Bearers; Giants 34-7NUL Spears; CAS Warriors v Black Cobras (cancelled after CAS Warriors arrived late).

This weekend’s fixtures (Day and venue still to be decided): NUL Spears v Black Cobras; Warriors v CAS Warriors; Giants v Mabote Bearers.

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