GABORONE - Come tomorrow afternoon, the University of Botswana (UB) stadium will be turned into a battle ground when Botswana rugby team takes on their Mauritius counterparts. What will make the encounter interesting is that both sides, together with Ivory Coast, have won their first games and stand a good chance to proceed to the next round.
Hence the weekend games will weight and whoever shall be found wanting would not only be tossed on the grass but will also miss the opportunity to conquer the Africa Division IC and World Cup qualifiers tournament. The home side, the Vultures, will approach the game motivated by their recent victory over Zambia. After their victory, the International Rugby Board (IRB) ranked them at position 77, having moved four places up from number 81. However, a win against the Mauritius side will not come easy as they will also be eyeing a place in the next round.
But coach, Ivor Greaves will pin his hopes on his trusted scrum half, Bernie De Beer, no nonsense locker, Munya Mhonda and workaholic central, Jerome Alabu. The Vultures need a win at all costs if they are to proceed to the next round. They will pray that Zambia beat Ivory Coast or at least they draw.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian national team, Black Stallion suffered their second defeat when they were beaten 29-17 by Ivory Coast on Wednesday. The game was the only midweek match for the ongoing Africa Cup Division 1C and 2013 World Cup qualifiers tournament held here in Gaborone. The match outcome left Nigeria's Black Stallions out of the contest to proceed to the next round, which is Division 1B.
Nigeria has failed to collect a point from their two games, as they were beaten 26-22 by Mauritius during the first match on Sunday. Ivory Coast's Elephants, who were playing their first tournament game, had an upper hand when protecting the ball against Nigeria for most part of the game. As Nigeria bowed out of the tournament, it was too early for the Ivorians to celebrate as they have a game against Zambia tomorrow at the same venue.
By Bonang Masolotate