Fungai Muderere, Sports Reporter
TWO Intercity Rugby League matches that will feature four Harare-based clubs, will tonight be played under floodlights at Harare Sports Club .
Bulawayo, Gweru and Kwekwe-based clubs will not be in action.
“Two matches will be played under floodlights this weekend because the venue Harare Sports Club) is playing host to the annual Dairibord Rugby Schools festival which started on 30 April. We also took advantage of the fact that all the country’s top rugby referees in the country will be in Harare for the festival. Some of these referees will officiate at our matches on Saturday night,” Zimbabwe Rugby Union (ZRU) vice-president Noddy Kanyangarara said.
The rebranded Intercity Rugby League now has eleven affiliates and the first match at Harare Sports Club that will start at 17.30PM will pit Old Hararians against Old Johannes.
Old Johannes are smarting from a 95-14 loss at the hands of seasoned campaigners Harare Sports Club.
The second match of the night will see hosts Harare Sports Club battling against equally buoyant Old Georgians who pummelled Old Hararians 71-11 in their last weekend encounter.
Meanwhile, the Dairibord Schools Rugby Festival which concludes today was without three powerhouses, Falcon College, Peterhouse and Midlands Christian College who stayed away for various reasons.
Falcon College headmaster, Reginald Querl said they decided not to be part of the festival this year after getting a raw deal in 2016 where they were given their fixtures late and had their last match against Watershed on the last day of the fiesta called off. The other reason Querl gave is that the Cambridge mid-year examinations are taking place during the same week as the Dairibord Schools Rugby Festival.
“Last year we got the fixtures very late, secondly the games were not as scheduled and we lost our third match altogether. We then had boys in Harare for no reason as the Saturday game was cancelled and had no transport to bring them back to school early. In addition this year, Cambridge midyear exams fall into that same week. This year we also had a big commitment of boys to rugby for virtually two weeks of holidays,’’ said Querl.
Falcon College have just returned from a tour of South Africa where they took part in the Saint Dunstan’s Easter Sports Festival in Benoni.
Peterhouse sports director, David Kirkman confirmed that they did not take part in the Dairibord Schools Rugby Festival because it does not suit the way they want to prepare for the season.
“The Dairibord Schools Rugby Festival does not fit in with our rugby preparation. All top teams who took part in the festival have been on tour and have games under their belt. They use the festival as a competition. We would rather have a preparation week where we can get a realistic look at a large squad (42),’’ said Kirkman.
This year’s edition of the Dairibord Schools Rugby Festival tournament, which featured schools from outside the country that included Windhoek Gymnasium of Namibia, Botswana Under-19 and Livingstone Kolobeng College from the same country as well as Zambia Under-16, ran under the theme “Unstoppable Momentum”.
The notable local schools that took part are Saint George’s College, Kyle, Churchill, Gateway, Hillcrests, Milton, Plumtree, St John’s College and Prince Edward
Last Weekend’s Intercity Rugby League Results
OMS 17 Matabeleland Warriors 30, Highlanders 1 Bulldogs 32, Gweru Sports Club 14 Police 45, Harare Sports Club 95 Old Johannes 14, Old Georgians 71 Old Hararians 11