Gold Cup final explodes

HARARE - A Zimbabwean rugby side will emerge with the rights to represent the country in the 2016 Saru Gold Cup tournament in South Africa after today’s final between Old Georgians and Old Haririans.

The Gold Cup is a tournament played by non-university rugby union clubs in South Africa and this year’s edition will be the first time it will feature a team each from Zimbabwe and Namibia.

OGs captain Kingsley Lang said his side is looking forward be the first local club to play in the Gold Cup adding that their recent rich vein of form in the Harare Rugby League counts for nothing in matches like today’s final.

“We are a very positive team and things have been going on well for us but at this stage previous results do not matter,” Lang told reporters yesterday.

“We have quite a number of players that have played at a higher level and are capable of handling pressure, and all we want is to challenge for the big prize. We have fallen short quite a number of times at this hurdle previously.”

OGs coach Grant Mitchell said: “We have always prepared for games but the Gold Cup has been the impetus for the clubs to be more competitive because at least now there is something to fight for.”

OH will be missing several key players in centre Cleopas Makotose, who is out on work commitments, as well as injured players Leeroy Mashiri (centre), Courtney Mwatsiye and flyhalf Tichafa Makwanya.

The Milton Park-based side’s captain Tawanda Chowe said the injuries have greatly affected their preparations for the final.

“The number of injuries we have has affected us negatively in our preparations but the youngsters have also shown that they can play the same roles that the senior players have been playing and they will do the job in the final,” Chowe said.

Saru project manager Duane Health, who brought the Gold Cup that will be on display during today’s final, said he was pleased with partnering Zimbabwe and hopes to improve the standards of local club game.

“We know Zimbabwe plays good rugby and they have a potential of becoming a great rugby nation and we felt it worthwhile that they could have a go in this tournament and probably learn a few things which they can use to better their league,” Health said.

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