Dairibord Rugby festival roars to life

The much-anticipated Dairibord Schools Rugby Festival roars into life tomorrow at Prince Edward School grounds with over 50 matches pencilled for the country’s biggest schools rugby gala.

By Munyaradzi Madzokere

A total of 186 schools, an increase from 168 last year, will grace the six-day festival which is set to conclude on Saturday.

While traditional giants such as Prince Edward, Churchill, Peterhouse, St John College and Eaglesvale among others provide the most attractive fixtures, tomorrow sees predominantly matches between less popular teams.

With the so-called big guns out of action until Tuesday, festival director Sebastian Garikai told Standardsport that every encounter at the festival is equally big and they are looking forward to an exciting start to the event.

“Everything is now in place for the start of the festival tomorrow. We look at every team that will participate as a big team in its own right since it’s a developmental festival and there is definitely going to be some exciting rugby tomorrow,” he said.

“These matches between the not- so-popular rugby playing schools are very important to this event as they establish a foundation of building a huge player base for national team selection. They enable us to cast the net wider in search of talent that will represent the country in future,” he added.

Oriel Boys High sets the festival rolling against Craneborne at 8am at the Jubilee Field while Tynwald tackle Entumbane at Avenues Field the same time Goldridge entertain Marist Brothers at Chapel Field.
Matches will come by the hour at these three Prince Edward grounds throughout the day.

A total of 30 girls teams have joined this year’s rugby jamboree, with seven of them namely Queen Elizabeth, Herentals, Mt Pleasant, Zengeza 1, Zengeza 4, Gmeiner (Bindura) and Amhlope (Bulawayo) making a first appearance.

All eyes will be on Prince Edward to show the dominance they exhibited last year when they went throughout the rugby festival without testing defeat, as well as Eaglesvale who proved they are no pushovers exhibiting an exciting brand of attacking rugby.

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