Glory beckons for top four

By Enock Muchinjo

THE battle lines are drawn as National Rugby League championship glory beckons for the top clubs who clash in semi-finals tomorrow.



etica, sans-serif”>Defending champions Old Hararians (OH) take on rivals Harare Sports Club at their Milton Park home ground. Across town at Groombridge, unbeaten Mashonaland Country Districts (MCD) will host University.


OH, who picked their form in ruthless style after suffering their only defeat at the hands of MCD earlier on in the season, will be expecting to complete a double-header against HSC. OH narrowly beat HSC 23-18 in the league earlier this year.


OH, who qualified for the semi-finals after finishing second on the log, have been registering crushing victories which include an 85-0 hammering of Bulawayo giants Busters and last week’s comfortable 45-9 dismissal of Western Panthers.


It will need something very special to deny OH their fourth consecutive title. The green machine, which boosts of a mobile three-quarter line and powerful forwards, can also use the Germany based pair of Sables captain Costa Dinha and mercurial flyhalf Victor Zambawo who are on vacation.


Other players expected to steer the star-studded OH to victory include speedy winger Tonderai Mapunde, centre Damien Webb, scrumhalf Tich Chidongo and utility skipper Rocky Gurumani.


However, OH should expect a tough challenge from HSC, whose team spirit can stop OH in their tracks. Once again they will look for inspiration from Sables forwards, prop Shingi Chirimuuta and lock Zacks Tondoro, with former OH three-quarter Shaun de Souza providing support.


In the other semi-final, invincible MCD, undefeated in nine league encounters, will face probably their most formidable challenge to date when they receive determined University, who are enjoying their best season in the top-flight since gaining promotion two years ago.


MCD will employ their usual game plan of slowing down their play to snail pace. They have got match-winners in gigantic lock Paul Georgio and eighthman Johnny du Rand.