Old Hararians........... (10) 29
Harare Sports Club.... (7) 14
DEFENDING champions Old Hararians cemented their position at the top of the Paramount Garments Seniors Rugby Championship with a comfortable 29-14 victory over rivals Harare Sports Club at Old Georgians Sports Club yesterday.
In a clash between the biggest rivals in local rugby, Old Hararians, who are aiming for a third successive title, moved up through the gears after a cagey start to the clash to claim the bragging rights.
After a scrappy start to the match Old Hararians took the lead through a penalty by flyhalf Benjamin Pattenden.
The sure-footed former Zimbabwe youth international returned to convert fullback Taku Musingwini's breakaway try after intercepting a Harare Sports Club move just outside their 22 meter line.
At the other end, Harare Sports Club had shown little as an attacking force but that all changed just before the break when they scored their opening try.
Harare Sports Club forced a turnover from a lineout setpiece on the Old Hararians' five-meter line before former Cheetahs player Lucky Sithole dived over the whitewash from a well-executed maul.
Flyhalf Philip Chisango slotted home the conversion to move Harare Sports Club within three points of their rivals.
Sportivo, as Harare Sports Club are popularly known by their fans, were handed a boost when Old Hararians' vice-captain Tamuka Pamire was sent to the sin bin just before halftime but the champions held on to a slender 10-7 lead at the break.
After a cagey opening half Old Hararians seized control of the match when left wing Leonard Takavengwa ran in a brilliant try moments after Sportivo center Kudzai Mashawi had been sent to the sin bin.
Takavengwa notched his second try moments later after a superb long pass by Pattenden, who brilliantly converted from a tight angle to give his side a 22-7 lead.
Old Hararians were now in complete control, bossing the encounter, while Harare Sports Club struggled to gain any momentum due to handling errors.
They were soon rewarded when left wing Darrly Makwasha scored another try which was converted by Musingwini.
Harare Sports Club managed a consolation try at the death by Sithole before replacement flyhalf Carlon Matsikira slotted home the extras but it was Old Hararians who were celebrating a derby win at the final whistle.