Botswana's Vultures got off to a flying start to the Confederation of Africa Rugby (CAR) six nations tournament with a 23-15 win over Zambia at the UB Stadium last evening.
Despite minimal attack advances from both sides in the opening 20 minutes, the Vultures got lively in the final minutes of the half. Full back, Edward Oosthuizen scored Botswana's first points breaking the deadlock in the 28th minute; converting a penalty after prop, Tyron Warburton was foul played. Awe Chikumbe however, responded for Zambia getting three points from a drop kick five minutes before halftime. Vultures' lock, Lempaletse Ngaka reacted immediately to score the first try of the game a minute later and Oosthuizen scored the conversion that followed to take the Vultures to a 10-3 lead. Jerome Alabu extended the Vultures lead with a try on the half hour mark despite Oosthuizen missing the resultant conversion.
Oosthuizen continued his good conversion rate in the second half scoring a penalty to extend Botswana's lead to 18-3.
With Zambia tying everything to get into the match, Botswana played to their advantage always pushing towards the goal line where they often had an upper hand in scrums. One such instance gave them their third and final try in the 65th minute that was scored by Molibi Maphanyane. Zambia would however, up their game in the last 20 minutes scoring their first try in the 70th minute through Dawny Sakala. Ben Mukwamba added another try in additional time of the game that was followed by a conversion but it was too hard too late for them as the referee blew the final whistle. Speaking to Sport Monitor after the game, Vultures manager, Matthew Gibson said he was disappointed with the team's second half display. "We were good in the first half, but we could not carry the performance into the second half". He however, said he was happy that the team managed to get four points from the game and they now have to focus on the next game against Mauritius on Saturday. Meanwhile in the first game played earlier yesterday, Mauritius beat Nigeria 26-22. Mauritius dominated the first half going to the break leading 17-3.
Frederick Kebadiretse and
Source - Mmegi Staff Writers