Roads from all schools in Zimbabwe are leading to Prince Edward School in Harare for the last day of the Dairibord National Schools Rugby Festival on Saturday when the hosts take on Churchill in the final tie that has expectations of a real life bloody encounter.
A grueling physical game is always in the offing when the giants and fisticuffs often fly among the opposing players as temperature soars in the do or die battle that carries bragging rights for Harare’s true schools rugby champion.
The Tigers-Bulldogs pairing is rated as the biggest rugby fixture in schools rugby in present times and draws the largest attendance for any domestic encounter in the oval ball game today.
Analysts yesterday predicted a tough duel with none willing to come up with a bold forecast of
“Churchill are traditionally strong and have won all their games prior to this festival that is the friendly encounters and they are also unbeaten from last year. PE were among those to lose to Churchill last year but they appear to be on a rebound judging by this year’s results,’’ said top rugby consultant Frankcon Mutare who organizes the Varsity Cup on behalf of Zimbabwe Rugby Union’s behalf.
Prince Edward defeated Hillcrest College 19-10 on Monday and outclassed Livingstone College from Botswana 54-7 yesterday while Churchill made light work of Vainona High Bulls 47-0 in their first match and overran Capri Horns, an Under-21 outfit based at Alex Sports Club, in the second game yesterday.
With the respective coaches playing hide and seek with the media, Prince Edward coach Shaun de Souza finally pitched up to declare the Tigers ready for the game.
“Last time was a team totally different. If we play proper age opposition we would be happy. And we would do our best and hope that our structures work in offence and in defence,” de Souza said.
The former Sables wing was happy with the victory over LKC.
“It was a great day in the office. LKC were very physical, they played the pick and go well and used their big boys which resulted in their seven points. We need to work on our defensive structures even our attack plans could be better if we stick to the game plan.”
A member of the Churchill coaching staff led by Geoff Madhake also told Suburban that they were itching to get on to the field and taken the hosts head-on.
“We have been training hard as evidenced by our results. We have also seen that PE are a strong team this year but I think it will be our day if we are to compare the different levels of movement between our backline departments,’’ said the Bulldogs junior coach.
The match is a last on the bill that also contains St George’s vs Eaglesvale, St John’s against Livingstone College, Heritage vs Allan Wilson and Marlborough taking on Vainona. Petra play Victoria High of Masvingo.