Dragons burn Mat Warriors

HARARE - Utility back Stephan Hunduza inspired Old Georgians to a hard-fought 26-0 win over Matabeleland Warriors during Saturday’s Intercity Rugby League match at Police Grounds.

Both teams came into the match unbeaten after three rounds of action and it was clear from the first whistle that a tough encounter was on the cards.

The visitors dug deep to hold the Dragons in an entertaining first half that finished 0-0 as the two table toppers failed to get onto the scoreboard.

However, Hunduza, who played in three different positions throughout the match, proved to be the difference between the two sides as he provided the cutting edge in the second period.

After having been on the wing in the first 40 minutes, the speedy Hunduza moved to scrumhalf after a yellow card to veteran Scotty Jones.

With a new halfback pairing of Hunduza and Boyd Rouse, the Dragons backline was now getting quick ball in the second period.

Hunduza would finally break the deadlock with two quick fire tries in a space of five minutes.

On the first occasion, the Zimbabwe international broke free with an overlap behind the Mat Warriors defence to score. Rouse missed the conversion.

The visitors, who had done well for the first 50 minutes to hold back the Dragons, were rattled and Hunduza scored his second when he intercepted a loose pass before racing clear to cross the whitewash.

This time Rouse was clinical with the boot to add the extra points to give the home side a 12-0 lead.

Shortly afterwards, Hunduza moved to centre with Graham Kaulback coming in to play at scrumhalf.

Tighthead prop David Makanda scored his fourth try of the season and his side’s third of the match when he finished off a well-worked lineout from inside the Mat Warriors 22 with Rouse adding the extra two points.

Replacement hooker Graham Cochrane scored the final try of the game to give the Dragons a bonus point win.

By that time the Mat Warriors players had been exhausted after the big shift they had put in the first half and some part of the second.

Although the scoreline might suggest a lopsided encounter, the visitors must be commended for the brave approach to the game which had Old Georgians, who have been the leading domestic team by some miles over the years, running out of ideas at times before Hunduza’s intervention.

Mat Warriors coach Rueben Kumpasa paid tribute to his team for the valiant effort against a strong Dragons side.

“I think we are a very young side; we are averaging between 23 and 25. Most of these boys are fresh from school and they don’t have much experience,” Kumpasa said.       

“We haven’t played against tougher opposition like we faced today, I think if we had played maybe two or three tougher games before this game we would been much better in the second half.”

Intercity Rugby League results

Police Defenders 12-74 Harare Sports Club, Old Miltonians 5-30 Old Hararians, Old Georgians 26-0 Mat Warriors, Mutare Sports Club 70-5 Bulldogs   

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