Hillcrest College emerge as giants

MUTARE - Mutare-based Hillcrest College proved that they have what it takes to challenge the order in the local schoolboy rugby circles following an impressive 2018 Dairibord Schools Rugby Festival campaign.

The schoolboy rugby jamboree ended at the weekend at Prince Edward School with some of the best teams on the land exhibiting their talent.

Hillcrest kicked-off their campaign with a narrow 18-15 loss at the hands of traditional giants Churchill High School on the second day of the festival.

However, the Manicaland-based school did not let that morale-sapping defeat dampen their spirits as they caused one of the biggest upsets in the history of the festival in their second game.

Hillcrest were involved in another cliff-hanger but emerged victorious when they beat powerhouses St John’s College 45-34 in a match that will go down in history of the schoolboy game.

They then finished off their campaign with another victory over visiting LKC from Botswana 48-12.

Hillcrest’s performances against Churchill and St John’s College are a sign that more upsets are likely in store during the forthcoming schoolboy rugby season.

Dairibord spokesperson Imelda Shoko, whose company partnered their schools rugby developmental initiative for the fifth year running was happy to be part of efforts to spread the game nationwide.

“The Dairibord Schools Rugby Festival has emerged to be a suitable sporting vehicle to improve the overall well-being of the youths while at the same time developing talent and creating a wider player base for ultimate participation at senior and national level,” Shoko said.

“Our continued sponsorship of the festival is motivated by the immeasurable benefits that the discipline brings to the talented boys and girls with a passion for rugby.

“We were excited also to see the huge turnout by the spectators who were also thrilled with the level of competition and the half time competitions that we conducted during the games where we also gave away lots of prizes.”

St George’s College were rampant throughout the festival winning all their three games with their most impressive win being against Churchill whom they reduced into toothless bulldogs courtesy of a 45-10 drubbing.

The host Prince Edward Tigers had a surprise visit from former Springbok wing Tonderai Chavhanga during the week which certainly lifted their spirits as they managed to extend their unbeaten run in domestic schools rugby since going down to Kyle College in 2016.

PE Cubs also did extremely well winning all their three matches much to the delight of their scrumhalf Simbarashe Kanyangara.

“I must say we had a great team-building and I would like to thank our coach, this was his last dance with us and really proud that we all made it a tourney to remember for him by ending the games unbeaten,” Kanyangara said.

Watershed College also recorded a milestone of their own with their 2018 squad becoming the first from the school to win all three matches at the Dairibord Schools Festival.

Over 30 girls’ teams also took to the field with mainly the high density suburb sides running riot at Hospital and Rhodes Fields.

Kuwadzana 2 massacred Victoria High 53-05, Glen View 1 walloped Seke 2 — 42-0. Sodbury beat Highfield 39-0 while Girls High School beat Mbare 21-05.

This year also saw 16 primary schools participating with Highlands Primary emerging number one while Blackstone were runners-up.


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