OLD Hararians coach Cyprian Mandenge says he’s not getting carried away with his charges’ derby win over their rival Harare Sports Club on Saturday and believes they still have a lot to do to reclaim their Lion Lager National Rugby League title.
REPORT BY SPORTS REPORTER
OH underlined their championship credentials with a hard fought 31-20 victory over Harare Sports Club to complete a rare double over the defending champions after winning the reverse fixture 18-13 on their home turf three months ago.
In a tightly contested encounter, OH got their points through a brace of tries from Patrick Tenesi and further tries from Tangai Nemadire and centre Lungile Tshuma while skipper Tichafara Makwanya added two penalties and two conversions.
Harare Sports Club got all their points from stand-in flyhalf Teddy Hwata who scored two tries, two penalties and two conversions.
The win also saw Mandenge’s men maintaining pole position on the log standings ahead of Old Georgians with three more rounds to go before the semifinals.
The top four teams on the log standings after the round robin phase qualify for the semifinals.
While expressing his delight at his players’ perfomance on Saturday, Mandenge, however, remained cautious about his team’s championship aspirations.
“Obviously, we are happy with the win and I attribute the result to the never-die attitude by my players. However, we might have beaten Harare Sports Club but we still have to take each game as it comes and ensure that we remain focused because there is a lot to play for and all the teams will be out to do well against us,” said Mandenge after successfully plotting his former team’s downfall.
“For instance, I think we were very poor last week against Matabeleland Warriors although we went on to win that match. We can’t afford to be inconsistent at this stage of the season because all the hard work we have put in might count for nothing.”
“It had happened before where a team might go unbeaten during the round robin phase and lose during the semifinals or the final,” he said.
Meanwhile, second-placed Old Georgians dented Matabeleland Warriors semifinal hopes with a 61-27 win which ensured the Groombridge-based side remains within touching distance of the log leaders.
Western Panthers’ 10-all draw with Old Miltonians in a Bulawayo derby saw them leapfrog Matabeleland Warriors in fourth position on the log standings to boost their semifinal hopes.
In another match, Gweru Sports Club eased their relegation worries with a hard-fought 14-12 win over basement side Zvishavane Bulls at McAdams Stadium in the mining town.