Grass is expected to suffer the most when Malawi Rugby National Team, Leopards, challenge Lesotho’s Stallions at Saint Andrews International High School Ground in Blantyre this afternoon.
It is a first-ever match between the category E test playing nations and there is a lot of pride at stake—even more for Leopards coach, Precious Matache.
“We have been polishing up our defence and attacking strategy. We expect a more physical game. It is going to be tough but we can handle pressure,” said Matache, whose side has regulars such as forwards Sam Kabambe, Martin Chikalaka and half-back Cedrick Chewale.
The host team’s international engagement is a climax of Malawi rugby’s growth evidence by an increase of teams to 10 this year, up from four last year. Some 500 boys and girls play competitive rugby in Malawi.
In the other camp, Lesotho arrived in Blantyre yesterday oozing with confidence after finishing third during their maiden appearance at May’s Africa Cup Division Two Championship in Rwanda.
Lesotho coach, Roy Zhou, told Lesotho’s Post newspaper that a win is a must today. The visitors’ squad includes South Africa-based teenage sensation, Sechaba Mokhele.
“We are going to Malawi with the aim of winning and gaining recognition. We want to beat Malawi in their own backyard,” Zhou is quoted as saying.
“I am happy with the performance in Rwanda, the team played well but we want to improve our attack and score more points. It is one of the things we are focusing and working on improving. We want to win our games by scoring more points.”
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