OGs retain league title

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Old Georgians retained their National Rugby League title after sneaking past rivals Harare Sports Club 45-38 after extra time in an absorbing final under floodlights at Harare Sports Club on Saturday.

In last season’s final, the two teams could not be separated in regulation time and it was the same case again on Saturday as they were tied on 30-30 after 80 minutes.

Two late tries in the second period of extra time from winger Kuda Chiwanza and Joseph Nicholls won it for Old Georgians, who claimed yet another famous victory over their fierce rivals.

The match certainly lived up to its billing as the fans who turned up were entertained with some exciting rugby.

Harare Sports Club, who had a heavier pack, bullied their opponents in the scrumages, in the process setting the platform for their backs.

Their young flyhalf Lenience Tamberwa defied his limited experience at that level of the game and had a good day.

The young man however ran out of ideas in some crucial stages of the match where in some cases, rather than spreading the ball wide, he would kick to the Old Georgians’ backline giving away possession.

Old Georgians were the first to get off the mark courtesy of a Grant Mitchell penalty in the 4th minute.

Harare Sports Club replied immediately through the boot of Tangai Nemandire, who a few minutes later touched down the first try of the match to give his side an 8-3 lead.

Old Georgians immediately bounced back through loose forward Njabulo Ndlovu who broke quite a number of tackles before touching down a converted try.

Sports Club however restored their advantage after some slick handling by the backline which created an overlap, allowing Nemadire to go down down for his second of the match as the see- saw affair continued.

Old Georgians drew parity at 13-13 a few minutes before the break, but Nemadire struck again as he ensured the hosts took a 16-13 lead as they went for the oranges.

Old Georgians settled quickly in the second half, resulting in two quick tries by Jacques Leitao and Dylan Bradshaw before Sports Club replied through Shingi Mpofu and Tangai Namdire as the game ended 30-30 after 80 minutes.

In the first period of extra time, Mitchell got Old Georgians’ noses in front with his boot, while Tamberwa took over the kicking duties for Sports Club and levelled the scores with a close-range penalty.

Shingi Mpofu scored a try just before the teams swapped sides and his try seemed to have won it for the hosts.

Old Georgians however left it late as their two young wingers made sure the trophy would spend another season at Groombridge.