Quote of the week

“To be a great champion you must believe you are the best. If you're not, pretend you are.” – Muhammad Ali

Friday, December 9, 2016

Matlama hire Matete as coach

Seephephe Matete is the new man in charge at Matlama
Matlama have hired former Lesotho caretaker boss Seephephe “Mochini” Matete as their new coach. Tse Putsoa confirmed the appointment on Friday.

Matete replaces Moses Maliehe who was confirmed as the new permanent coach of the national team Likuena last week. Sello Seholoholo and Mokoena Mohale had been in temporary charge of Matlama after Maliehe’s departure.

Matete served as the Lesotho Football Association’s technical director for four years before taking over as Likuena caretaker coach in February 2014 after Leslie Notši joined South African First Division side United FC.

He held the post of interim Likuena boss until November 2015 when he was sacked following Likuena’s failure to qualify for the 2016 African Nations Championship (CHAN) tournament.

Matete’s appointment is a surprise but he will be helped by his history at Tse Putsoa. He is one of the club’s greatest ever players and was a star of Matlama’s dominant sides of the 1970s and 80s. He was also a successful Lesotho international during that period.

Matete has also coached Lesotho’s Under-20 side. He was at the helm of the golden Makoanyane XI generation that qualified for the 2005 African Youth Under-20 Championship held in Benin. The same side also made the final of the COSAFA Under-20 Championships before losing 1-0 to Madagascar, the closest Lesotho has come to claiming the regional junior crown.

He takes over a Matlama side that ends 2016 on a low. The Pitso Ground side is seventh in the Vodacom Premier League, ten points behind league leaders Bantu. Matlama, Lesotho’s most successful club, are trophyless since 2010.

Matete’s first game in charge will be on January 7 when Matlama host Bantu at Setsoto Stadium. 

Lesotho Rugby granted full membership by Rugby Africa

A year of success for Likatola and Lesotho rugby...
The Federation of Lesotho Rugby has been granted a full membership into the continent’s governing body, Rugby Africa.

Lesotho’s membership was confirmed last weekend during Rugby Africa’s 12th annual general assembly that was held in Botswana.

FLR president Fetang Selialia represented Lesotho at the meeting and by receiving full member status, the association has capped an impressive four years since it was formed in 2012.

Just two years ago, Lesotho was accepted as an affiliate member of Rugby Africa at its 11th general assembly meeting. Now in 2016, the country is a full member and will benefit from improved competition and development programmes.

“Since it has been two years since (the) Lesotho rugby union has been affiliated to Rugby Africa and considering the quality of their application, we see no objection to grant full membership to the union and look forward to being in support of Lesotho Rugby and taking rugby to greater heights in the country,” Rugby Africa said in accepting Lesotho.

“We thank the board of the union for their excellent work and cooperation and welcome Lesotho rugby union as a full member of Rugby Africa.”

FLR’s application was no doubt helped by the positive performances of the national side, Likatola.

In May, Lesotho finished third at the Africa Cup Division 2 championship in Rwanda before ending 2016 with a notable 31-11 away victory over Malawi in August.

In total, Lesotho has won four of its seven international matches since its debut in 2014.

Lesotho’s international results:
Malawi 11-31 Lesotho (August, 2016)
Burundi 3-6 Lesotho (May, 2016)
Lesotho 5-41 Botswana (April, 2016)
Lesotho 13-10 Swaziland (July, 2015)
Botswana 44-3 Lesotho (June, 2014)
Swaziland 13-0 Lesotho (May, 2014)
Lesotho 5-3 Swaziland (February, 2014)

Summer Slam Charity tournament roars into life
KTA and BBH will renew their rivalry at the Summer Slam Tournament
Nine men’s teams and four women’s sides will go head-to-head at this year’s Summer Slam Charity Tournament.

The competition will feature guest teams from South Africa and Swaziland and it will take centre stage on Saturday and Sunday at the Lehakoe Club. The annual tournament aims to give back to the community and introduce basketball to the youth.

13 teams have confirmed their participation in the 2016 Summer Slam Charity Tournament.

Six teams from outside the country including Swaziland’s Mbabane Raptors and South Africa’s Jozi Nuggets are expected to grace the event.

Lesotho’s contingent of team, meanwhile, will include national champions KTA All-Stars, Bokamoso, Lichocha Shooting Rifles and current National Basketball League leaders Bashana Baheso.

The champions in both the men’s and women’s competitions will win trophies and medals sponsored by Sprite.

Summer Slam Charity Tournament teams:
Men
Phoenix Flame (South Africa)
Bokamoso (Lesotho)
Bloem Alumni (South Africa)
Bashana Baheso (Lesotho)
KTA All-Stars (Lesotho)
Mbabane Raptors (Swaziland)
Goodfellas (South Africa)
Lichocha (Lesotho)
Jozi Nuggets (South Africa)
Women
Phoenix Flame (South Africa)
Bokamoso (Lesotho)
BBH (Lesotho)
Shooting Stars (Lesotho)

Monday, December 5, 2016

Bantu are 2016 Christmas champions and Graham Jarvis defends Roof of Africa

Celebration time for Bantu...
Bantu are this year’s Christmas champions after a set of unexpected results allowed A Matšo Matebele to leapfrog Lioli and Kick4Life to the top of the Vodacom Premier League to finish 2016.

Heading into the weekend, Lioli and Kick4Life, who were joint leaders, and Bantu, who were third, all had the opportunity to finish the first round on top of the league.

Kick4Life had the first chance to make a move but were shocked 2-1 by LMPS on Saturday at the LCS Stadium. Kick4Life’s slip meant Lioli had the opportunity to open a gap at the top but they were also upset by LCS as Masheshena ran out 1-0 winners at the LCS Stadium

The slip-ups gave Bantu the chance to go top and the Mafeteng giants took full advantage beating Liphakoe 2-0 on Sunday in Quthing with the in-form Hlompho Kalake on the score-sheet again. Thanks to the weekend’s results Bantu are top with 27 points. Lioli and Kick4Life follow with 26 points with Lioli in second thanks to a superior goal difference.

Bantu will start 2017 in pole position for the league championship, and they have a game in hand.

Weekend Vodacom Premier League Results:
Saturday, 03 December
Kick4Life 1-2 LMPS
Sky Battalion 2-1 Matlama
Likhopo 1-1 Linare
LCS 1-0 Lioli
Sunday, 04 December
LDF 5-2 Butha-Buthe Warriors
Liphakoe 0-2 Bantu
Rovers 0-1 Sundawana

Vodacom Premier League Standings


P
W
D
L
GF
GA
GD
Pts.
1
Bantu
12
8
3
1
20
4
16
27
2
Lioli
13
8
2
3
25
8
17
26
3
Kick4Life
13
8
2
3
25
15
10
26
4
Sky Battalion
13
7
3
3
17
10
10
24
5
LMPS
13
6
5
2
12
7
5
23
6
LCS
13
6
4
3
15
13
2
22
7
Matlama
12
5
5
2
13
7
6
17
8
LDF
13
5
5
3
12
8
4
17
9
Sundawana
13
3
7
3
11
11
0
16
10
Linare
13
4
4
5
21
19
2
14
11
Liphakoe
13
3
3
7
11
18
-7
12
12
Rovers
13
2
2
9
8
23
-15
8
13
Likhopo
13
1
2
10
6
22
-17
5
14
Butha-Buthe Warriors
13
0
2
11
8
38
-30
2
·         Matlama docked 3 points and 3 goals
·         LDF docked 3 points and 3 goals

Lesotho highlands conquered
Graham Jarvis defends Roof of Africa crown
Great Britain’s Graham Jarvis successfully defended his Roof of Africa crown on Saturday as he beat Spain’s Alfredo Gómez by nine seconds in a thrilling race. The title was Jarvis’ fourth and he became only the second rider after South African Alfie Cox to win the crown more than three times.

It was an eventful back-and-forth at the international calendar’s final Hard Enduro race of the year and the 41-year-old Jarvis managed to out-gun a charging Gómez with South African Scott Bouverie rounding out the podium after three days of brutal off-road racing.

After starting on Thursday and nearly 400 kilometres of racing, only nine seconds separated the top two by Saturday’s finish.

The final stage was a classic case of survival of the fittest as the elder Jarvis, who had more experience of Lesotho’s epic highlands, gradually wore down the Spaniard Gómez on his first visit to Africa.

Jarvis knew the terrain and riding conditions better and he played the perfect tactical game. He kept Gómez at bay and pushed the pace just enough to hurt the Spaniard. Jarvis also managed to keep the charging group which included the likes of Bouverie and teammate Travis Teasdale, as well as British young gun Billy Bolt out of reach.

After the race an elated Jarvis admitted luck was on his side.

“I got about halfway through and realised it would be a sprint for the line. From the last fuel stop we just went for it though, there was definitely a bit of luck involved too,” he said.