THE Lion Lager Rugby League which ended its programme for this year last week was marred by a plethora of constrains which, coupled with the chaos surrounding the national team, present the Zimb
abwe Rugby Union (ZRU) with a daunting task.
Teams in the league had several of their matches postponed due to violence at stadiums – both on and off the pitch – and failure by clubs to turn up for matches.
Champions Old Hararians for example, had seven of their matches postponed due to the chaos affecting the league.
The postponement of the national team game against Madagascar under unclear circumstances in July opened a Pandora’s box and triggered even more chaos.
There were reports that the players refused to play the match at Harare Sports Club claiming that the pitch was sub-standard.
Lawrence Majuru, the ZRU president, admits that a lot of work needs to be done to save the game from further decline.
“We definitely have to worker together, the leaders, players as well as sponsors, to improve the game,” Majuru said.
“The current situation is not at all pleasing and it should be our collective responsibility to get things right.”
A Sables player who spoke on condition of anonymity this week blamed the ZRU for poor administration.
“The ZRU is solely responsible for the decay in the local game,” said the player. “The problems bedevilling the national team are a result of poor planning as well as failure to account for funds.”
The suspension of Sables captain, Victor Olonga only exacerbated the confusion within the local rugby fraternity over the issue of the national team.
Inevitably, the performance of the Sables in the qualifiers of the Africa Cup was poor – what with the perennial confusion and squabbling in the local rugby camp for the past season.
The Sables in July lost 3-25 to Uganda in Kampala thereby reducing their chances of proceeding to the next round of the qualifiers. As if that was not bad enough, the Madagascar encounter which the Sables needed to win convincingly to revive their chances was cancelled.
Prior to the embarrassing defeat to Uganda as well as the postponement of the Madagascar match, coach Godwin Murambiwa quit in a huff over the chaos.