Gaborone — Renowned rugby referee, Alec Maposa took centre stage recently as he had to halt the Rugby Super League game between the league pacesetters Gaborone Hogs and their archrivals, BDF Cheetahs
Maposa, who is of Zimbabwean origin, had to call off the game at half time citing that he was at the receiving end of racial abuse from the BDF Cheetahs players who interrogated most of his decisions using racially abusive language.
Maposa is arguably one of the most decorated local umpires as he has officiated in the Africa Gold Cup matches, which is a competition that doubles as a World Cup qualifiers for African countries.
The alleged racial abuse uttered by Cheetahs players left a bitter taste on the Rugby Union leadership since the majority of the BDF Cheetahs players and official are deployed in the army, hence expectation of them is to uphold high level of disciple at all times.
Hogs were up 20-3 at halftime, a lead that was orchestrated by scrumhalf, Pride Nyemeni with four penalty conversions and two tries by leftlock Jeremy Babbage.
While there is every desire to win every game in the league, it is the nagging indiscipline that has become a problem on and off the field for the army-based team lately.
BDF Cheetahs head coach, Shine Gabatadiwe expressed displeasure at the way the referee handled the game, highlighting that he could have ideally cautioned players rather than end the game prematurely.
"It is within the game rules and regulation that the referee should have cautioned the players in question either through flashing yellow cards or permanently suspending them from play. Therefore it is totally unacceptable for him to end the game under the pretense that he was racially abused without cautioning any of the perpetrators," he said.
He said the referee had demonstrated incompetency by ending the game prematurely without consulting with the other match officials or the rugby union representative present on the day.
When reached for comment, both the rugby union and Hogs representatives declined to remark on the issue, citing that they are still awaiting the official match report.
Meanwhile, BDF Cheetahs started the year positively with a series of win and where strong contenders to clinch the title, but their second round performance had been all downhill hence putting their title hopes in the balance.
The major thing holding back the BDF Cheetahs is the indiscipline that creeps into all aspects of their game.
Indiscipline affects not only their attack and defence but also the way they are perceived by others in the super rugby league.
Their attack has been riddled with errors and they have had several try-scoring opportunities but have lacked the discipline and class to finish them.
Whether it be a dropped ball, pushed pass or a case of white line fever, the BDF Cheetahshave found a way to stuff it up.
This has been the major difference between the Hogs and Cheetahs. The Hogs ability to score every time the opportunity arises is incredible as they demonstrated in the Saturday fixture by scoring two tries and four penalty conversions in the first half.
Of the ten chances they have, they will score eight, whereas the Cheeters may get five on a good day.
Following the Saturday games, Hogs remain unbeaten at the top of league and have the destiny of the tittle in their own hands, while BDF Cheetahs are to lick their wounds as they await the disciplinary hearing.
Source : BOPA