WESTERN PANTHERS humbled title holders Busters when they thrashed them 43-0 in the Zimbo Under-20 Cup rugby preliminary round match played at Hartsfield recently.
Panthers managed five tries, with three of them being converted, and four penalty goals, to secure a comfortable win and remain at the top of the log standings and unbeaten on 10 points.
Irvine Nduwa got three tries for Panthers, while fly-half and playmaker Taurisai Mugariri got one try and managed to put over four penalty goals as well as covert three tries. Nigel Gatsi added one more try to the tally.
Busters had no answer to the aggressive Panthers attack as they were ripped apart with Panthers going 16-0 up by the end of the first half.
In the second half, a battered Busters side failed to pick themselves up as Panthers continued with offensive type of play, as they added another 27 points to their total through three tries, all converted, and two penalties.
Busters coach Sean Robinson said his side suffered a surprising defeat as his boys went into the match having underestimated their opponents and being overconfident.
“Panthers managed to hold our forwards at bay and were good at running in with the ball. They played very well and my players just did not have the answer to their attack. Credit must go to George Mukorera, the Panthers coach, for putting together a talented side,” Robinson said.
Busters now face an uphill task as they face Bulldogs in a make-or-break encounter.
Busters will go into their last preliminary round match missing three key players — skipper Brendan Nesbit, Gavin Van der Merwe and Paul Edmead — who will not be available due to their participation in the water polo games at Falcon College on the same weekend.
Old Miltonians smashed the Bulldogs side 74-5 scoring 12 tries to set up a thrilling end to the preliminary round matches.
The final spots will be decided by the results from the last round of matches to be played on Saturday.