Harare Sports Club seek to maintain unbeaten run


FORMER champions Harare Sports Club will put their unbeaten run in the National Rugby League (NRL) on the line when they host defending champions Old Hararians in the capital’s biggest derby tomorrow.


The 2012 national champions have opened their season with three wins and a draw to remain the only unbeaten team in the league, but face a stern test against their rivals Old Hararians.

Buoyed by the arrival of championship winning coach Cyprian Mandenge, Old Hararians completed a memorable double against Harare Sports Club on their way to last season’s championship.

While last season’s results will have no bearing on tomorrow’s encounter, they will definitely give a strong indication of the two team’s title credentials this season.

Harare Sports Club team manager Blessing Chiutare said he was expecting a bruising encounter as both teams will be hoping to atone for disappointing results last weekend. The Old Boys, as Old Hararians are affectionately known, lost 32-36 to Old Georgians last weekend while Harare Sports Club (Red Lions) were lucky to return home with two points after being held to a 14-all draw at Busters.

“The matches between OH [Old Hararians] and Harare Sports Club are always bruising and it should not be any different on Saturday. They are never predictable and for the past 10 years, the matches between us have been very close with the exception of a few games,” Chiutare said.

“OH are coming from a defeat while we are coming from a draw so both teams will be eyeing a turn of fortunes and a return to winning ways. We have a well-blended side with youth and experience. We have worked on what we think went wrong in Bulawayo and also looked at the OH game to try and see some areas we can work on.”

Meanwhile, in other encounters set for this weekend, Old Georgians will be overwhelming favourites against basement side Zvishavane Bulls in the early match at Harare Sports Club.

Old Miltonians will be hoping to finally register their first win of the season when they host Gweru Sports Club at Hartsfield while Matabeleland Busters host Western Panthers in a Bulawayo derby at the same venue.


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