HSC crowned NRL champions

HARARE - Harare Sports Club finally exorcised the ghosts that had haunted them for the past three years by beating Matabeleland Warriors 22-19 on Saturday to clinch their first National Rugby League title since 2009.

Coach Blessing Chitaure could not hide his joy, dedicating their title to their fans and sponsors.

“We have proved we are not the bridesmaids anymore,” said Chiutare.

Chiutare attributed the team’s success to the abundance of talent in his squad.

“We could pull out our first team on any day (and still win),” he said.

Before the final, Matabeleland Warriors eighthman Norman Mukondiwa remarked that the match would be won in the forwards.

Chiutare, however, claimed he was not worried by the Warriors’ forwards.

“Their pack had not played together all season and actually brought in a whole lot new players for the final, which disrupted their play,” he said.

Sports Club’s forward pack outmuscled the Warriors for the greater part of match, which proved to be the turning point of the match.

“If we were consisted right from the first whistle we could have won the game but we made too many mistake in the first half, we were always in the back foot. We only started playing in the second half, which was too late,” said Warriors coach Reuben Kumpasa.

Harare Sports Club flyhalf Lenience Tambrewa was on the money with a hundred percent kicking ratio and his boot proved to be the difference.

Warriors disciplined let them down as they were caught wanting several times at the breakdown and at scrums.

HSC fullback Tangai Nemadire proved to be a menace to the Warriors defence as he broke the line quite a number of times with his dazzling runs.

The hosts’ forwards managed to match up the Warriors pack pound for pound for the greater part of the match and were not over rowed by their size.

Simabarashe Kabatebate run in Sports Club’s only try of the match deep into second half, which was converted by a inform Tamberwa.

The Warriors only came into life in the last quarter of the second period when their forwards started to find their feet and protecting their own ball more.

They started to build up phases and gaining territory.

Their rolling maul also started to work to their greater effect.

They opened their account when their tighthead Tapiwa Mangenzi crossed the whitewash.

Centre Jafet Ndebele scored two tries, which were converted by Bisele Tshamala in a tightly-contested closing stage of the game. - Brian Matamba


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