District Dragons fullback Justin Coles had a dream fairytale debut as he helped District Dragons lift the National Rugby League title at Harare Sports Club on Saturday with a 33-26 win after extra time.
The 18 year old St John’s College head boy was defending champions Harare Sports Club’s nemesis with a top drawer performance that should have proved his Sables’ credentials.
Besides planting the winning try in extra time, Coles had set the platform for the Farmers with a stunning opening try with his first touch of the ball after just seven minutes.
Coles, who had only trained with District Dragons later this week after completing his exams, expressed his delight at having made an impact for District Dragons.
“I’m happy to have made an immediate impact for Dragons after completing my exams early this week (last week). I only had a couple of training sessions with the guys before this match and to score the first try with my first touch of the ball was amazing.
“Credit should to the whole team for playing as a unit and being disciplined throughout the match. Harare Sports Club also played very well and gave us a good run in the end.
“I hope such a performance will help me develop my career as I also aspire to play for the Sables after I made my debut with the Cheetahs early this year,’ said an elated Coles.
A persistent downpour in the first half helped both defences settle but District Dragons still managed to rise above the conditions to conjure two tries in the first half.
The hosts made an inauspicious start to match, conceding the first try after just seven minutes when Coles broke loose on the right, riding two tackles to touch down the visitors’ first try.
Dragons’ Fly half Grant Mitchell, immaculate with the boot all throughout the match slotted home the conversion and two drop goals and another conversion later in the match.
Backliner Danny Robertson and winger Martin Roberts both added a try each either side of the half as District Dragons before Eddie Manyere, reduced the arrears with a try.
However Harare Sports Club was still trailing by nine points at half time with the scorers at 18-7.
A late charge inspired by two quick tries in six minutes by substitute Tafadzwa Bepura sent the match into two 10-munite periods of extra time to set up one of the most exhilarating matches in the league.
However District Dragons still ran out worthy winners in the end with Harare Sports Club suffering a late heartache when Coles produced another moment of brilliance to touch down the wining try towards the death.