OLD Georgians (OGs) Under-20 coach Tetenda Museba has applauded his charges for sticking to the game plan after they put on a stunning display to upstage favourites and defending champions Pitbulls 46-36 in the final of the Paramount Garments U20 Rugby League on Saturday.
The Young Dragons, who overcame the disappointment of losing their first two matches in the competition, proved that their recent revival was no fluke as they produced the ultimate performance befitting of a championship decider at their Groombridge-based home ground.
The result also meant OGs ended Pitbulls’ six-year dominance of the Paramount Garments Under-20 League.
Museba was delighted with the manner in which his charges stuck together and kept believing in the process even after their poor start to the competition.
“We’ve been putting some effort for the past seven weeks. I would like to thank the boys for trusting the process because we lost the first two games and people didn’t think we were going to get this far, but after trusting the process the boys managed to clinch the victory,” said Museba.
“The boys stuck to their guns, followed and executed our game plan very well. Pitbulls played very well, gave us a good run and, in the end I am happy with the result.
“It was a tight game, but our defensive performance was the difference. Pitbulls spent large spells camped in our half, but we held our own.”
The Young Dragons were never supposed to win the final on Saturday because defending champions Pitbulls had dominated the competition for most of the season, topped the log and appeared well poised to cruise to another title.
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The hosts got their points through tries from Kelvin Kaseke, Tadiwa Unganai, Gealam Jaridza, Joseph Benning, Happious Zhou and Benoni Nhekairo, who also provided three conversions.
Pitbulls got their points via tries from Tadiwa Marumisa, Vincent Chimwendo, Edward Sigauke, Alex Nyamunda and Panashe Mugorogodi, while Shadreck Mandaza also chipped in with three conversions.
Pitbulls coach Geoff Madhake lamented injuries to some of his key players in the lead-up to the final, but was gracious in defeat as he applauded OGs for coming to the party.
“We didn’t train very well this week because some of my boys were injured during the last week, but no excuses, OGs came and played one hell of a game and they had the home advantage as well,” Madhake said.
Meanwhile, Zimbiru clinched the women’s Paramount U20 Rugby League title after edging rivals FS Raiders 19-12 in a tightly contested encounter.