Harare Sports Club…… (27) 56
Gweru Sports Club…….(12) 12
DEFENDING champions Harare Sports Club began their Lion Lager National Rugby League title defence in winning fashion yesterday.
They outclassed visiting Gweru Sports Club 56-12 at Harare Sports Club.
Sportivo, as Harare Sports Club are affectionately known by their fans, ran in nine tries including second-half braces from wing Stephan Hunduza and hooker Tolerance Zishe to earn a deserved bonus-point victory.
Earlier Sables flank Sean Chigumbura had set the tone for Harare Sports Club with an early converted try before skipper Daniel Hondo, lock Tafadzwa Bepura crashed over at the back of a maul while fit-again speedster Tafadzwa Mhende finished off a brilliant flowing move by the star-studded backline.
Gweru Sports Club replied through first-half tries from centre Terence Mwemba, who finished off a kick and chase move and a brilliant solo run from star wing Kilvan Magunje to head for halftime trailing 27-12.
Scrumhalf Rangarirai Zimbowa chipped in with 11 points from the boot for the hosts.
Both sides showed plenty on attack but Harare Sports Club was more solid on defence especially in the second-half and were ultimately deserved winners though the Gweru Sports Club can hold their heads high.
Hondo, the Harare Sports Club captain, said they were delighted to win their first match but said his side had plenty of room for improvement as they look to build on last year’s championship win.
“We wanted to come out and do the basic right, it was scrappy at times but what we wanted was a victory and we managed to get it. From here we will just try to work hard and improve on our perfomance ahead of the upcoming games.
In an earlier match at the same venue, a new-look Old Hararians started life under new head-coach Cyprian Mandenge, with a ruthless perfomance as they thrashed visiting Old Miltonians 82-3.
Western Panthers stunned rivals and last year’s losing finalists Matabeleland Warriors 20-21 in a Bulawayo derby at Hartsfield while Old Georgians thrashed newly promoted Zvishavane Bulls 50-0 at McAdams Stadium in Zvishavane.