The Sunday News
Mehluli Sibanda, Senior Sports Reporter
Matabeleland Warriors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (0) 10
Harare Sports Club . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (8) 11
VISITING Harare Sports Club recorded a hard fought victory over Matabeleland Warriors in a Super Six Rugby League fixture played at Hartsfield yesterday.
Sportivo, missing most of their key players who are away with the Zimbabwe Rugby Academy for the SuperSport Rugby Challenge in South Africa scored one try and two penalty goals to break the hearts of the sizeable crowd that was backing Warriors. The home team had a converted try as well as a penalty goal and thought they had triumphed as they led 10-8 until the visitors won it right at the end. It was the first defeat for Warriors from the two matches they have played so far this season.
Wing Takudzwa Francisco opened the scoring for HSC when he went over on the left corner, with the conversion not successful. Flyhalf Tadius Dzandiwandira booted in a penalty goal to give the Red Lions an 8-0 lead heading into the break.
Warriors came back rejuvenated in the second half and got their first points off the boot of their number 10 Tarisai Mugariri who kicked in a penalty goal with 20 minutes to go.
Loose forward Nelson Madida found a gap in the HSC defence to plant the ball over the line near the posts with Mugariri slotting in the extra two points to give the Bulawayo team the lead for the first time in the match.
Dzandiwandira stole it right at the end for the visitors with another penalty goal as Sportivo held on for their second win of the season from three matches.
Gilbert Nyamutsamba, the Warriors coach attributed his team’s loss to not being able to grab points scoring chances that came their way. He is targeting a place in the semifinals for his team comes the playoffs time, something he is convinced can still be achieved.
“Tough one, not the result we expected, our boys played very well, not taking anything away from the opposition but I think we had a few opportunities that we didn’t finish off but that definitely comes with experience,” Nyamutsamba said.
With the Super Six League taking a breather to pave way for Zimbabwe’s participation in the SuperSport Rugby Challenge, Warriors are pushing for their rescheduled match against Old Hararians in Harare to be played during the break. — @Mdawini_29