Can Falcon College be stopped?

HARARE - Schoolboy rugby in Zimbabwe, as a tradition tickles your funny bone; in fact, it endlessly excites all your bones!

Last weekend's rugby was no different. The rugby witnessed at the weekend was absorbing, top-class stuff.

Parents, old boys and rugby aficionados revelled in some of the best rugby seen in many years, on St. John's College's sweetly-named Honey Field.

This old-school correspondent wonders why at the senior level we were not competing against the likes of the Springboks when we had so much bewildering talent at schoolboy level!

Officiating the much-anticipated match was the living refereeing legend, Jonathan Kaplan, arguably the best rugby referee in recent years. Kaplan flew into Zimbabwe on the eve of the match.

On the immaculately-manicured turf, visiting Falcon College, of Esigodini, were an astounding rugby force that the Rams did well initially to contain; they even had the nerve to lead in the first half.

But in the 70-min schoolboy rugby race, in another perspective, even if you advantaged, for want of a better illustration, the finest tractor an unfair headstart against a thoroughbred Porsche, it's a no-brainer who hits the tape first, and miles ahead at that!

On the stroke of full-time, if you were a Falcon lad, the fancy digital St John's scoreboard happily read; St John's 25 - 41 Falcon College, a perfect, puffing unbeaten-in-10-starts for Falcon's Mad Dogs this season.

That could never be a fluke. The brave pundits, after the John's dissection, were already predicting an unbeaten season for Falcon. But then, an odd, five-or-so matches remain. In this league anything can happen.

The Falcon College coach, Brendan French, at the end could only magnanimously remark, "Well done to my boys for playing a very disciplined game. St. John's were very competitive though. Led the match even. It was fantastic rugby for the supporters."

In all truth, even though St John's lost, they were largely impressive all day. They just lost to a more-polished, unforgiving outfit.

John's contribution to the Craven Week team did not disappoint. Sam Garnett, Cameron Harrison, Aiden Burnett justified their selection to the national side.

There has to be, must be something excellent that Brendan French and his sidekick, local rugby legend and Falcon rugby consultant, Brendon Dawson, must be doing so very right.

Question; who's going to stop the relentless, all-conquering, merciless Falcon juggernaut?

The Saints? Today? Still licking their deep wounds from a vicious 19-34 home mauling on their hallowed Weaver Field, at the hands of the Prince Edward Tigers, Saints will look to redeem themselves, at, of all places, Falcon College!

Looks very unlikely, but there's no harm in Brendan Brider and his charges trying, even against the odds, to unravel the solid "Brendan and Brendon Partnership."

Well, it may take a Brendan; Brendan Bryder, the Saints head coach, to help dissect the Brendan-and-Brendon Partnership and their willing charges, the Mad Dogs.

Falcon's daunting game revolves around their stylish and barnstorming hooker, Brian Muntanga. He is a joy to watch and plays incisive, go-forward rugby.

But then, he is ably supported by eight other boys who have made the Zimbabwe Under 19 Craven Week national team; Ackim Sibanda, Levi Fargnoli, Stuart Dodington; enterprising scrum half, Campbell Nyakudya, Benjamin Meredith, Jordan Zietsman, Sam Phiri, Cleopas Kundiona.

It is astonishing that their exciting giant fullback, Shaun Snyder, in a possible travesty, did not make the Craven Week team. Sometimes national selectors seemingly succumb to unreasonable pressure not to select "too many players" from one school.

Die-hard Saint George's fans reckon their U-19 national team players Angus Bruce, Tarisai Mapfumo, Tinashe Muchena and Kevin Chisango will propel Saints to victory today.

The unfavourable stats disprove that; revealing Falcon's homeground as an unforgiving "house-of-pain." Ask Peterhouse. Ask Prince Edward, in fact, check with anyone.

Comments (1)

So uplifting to hear some good news for a change even though its about schoolboy rugby. Well done to all concerned!!!!

saundy - 14 June 2015

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