The Sables’ Tri-nations Victoria Cup rugby match against Kenya, which had initially been scheduled to take place at Hartsfield Rugby Grounds in Bulawayo on Saturday, has been moved to Harare Sports Club, NewsDay Sport has learnt.
Zimbabwe will now play Kenya in Harare and the July 2 match against Uganda which had initially been scheduled to take place in Harare has been moved to Hartsfield.
Sables’ team manager Noddy Kanyangarara said the changes were meant to avoid a counter-attraction at Harare Sports Club on July 2, the same day the Zimbabwe XI cricket team will be playing the South Africa A in a limited-overs encounter at the same venue.
“We have realised that Zimbabwe will be playing South Africa the same day we were supposed to host the game against Uganda at the same venue.
So to avoid a counter-attraction we decided to switch the venues and take the Uganda game to Bulawayo, which means this weekend’s game will be at Harare Sports Club,” Kanyangarara said.
The Kenyans, who are the defending champions in the Victoria Cup, are expected to arrive in the country on Wednesday.
The Sables will be out for revenge on Saturday after Kenya secured their first ever win in Zimbabwe after a 23-18 victory at Harare Sports Club in July last year.
Zimbabwe go into this match with a victory in the bag already after their 25-15 win over Uganda in the Africa Cup Group 1B tournament in Kampala, which also acted as the first round of the Victoria Cup.
Matabeleland Rugby Football Board chairman Sean Robinson yesterday confirmed the Sables/Kenya match had been moved to Harare and that had been communicated to him.
He said the Matabeleland Under-21-Botswana national team match had also been cancelled and slated for July 2.
“That was communicated to us and means the Matabeleland Under-21-Botswana match has also been moved to July 2 when we play Uganda. We have also extended an invitation to Mashonaland for July 2 in the event the Botswana guys cannot make it,” Robinson said.
The Matabeleland Under-21-Botswana tie was meant to curtain raise the Sables-Kenya match. In the Victoria Cup, each team plays the other twice, at home and away and points are awarded to each team after each match depending on the result.
The winner of the competition is the team with the most points after all six matches have been played.
If teams end level on points the first tie-breaker provides points difference followed by number of tries during the series.
If teams are still level, then the competition will be shared. The basic points system is four points for a win, two points for a draw and zero points for a loss.