Last night(Sat-29-March) Churchill boys, the bulldogs lived up to their billing as they mauled Vryheid High school 17-12 in their first match at the Nashua rugby week here at Vryheid High school in Vryheid, Kwazulu Natal province in South Africa.
The Bulldogs started slowly as early on in the match they conceded a try after a missed tackle in midfield left Vyrhied High’s Kyle Xaba free to run through the flank and score the first try of the match but Devon Aspeden failed to convert keeping the scores at five nil.
The visitors tried to rally back into the match but their efforts were constantly being frustrated by the referee who made some questionable calls and poor ball handling resulting in turn overs to haunted Churu for the rest of the half but credit must be given to their defensive play that kept them in the game.
The hosts were visibly tired in the second half and allowed Churchill to start passing the ball thereby exhibiting some excellent runs with ball in hand. Flank Robin Chionyore made some good carries to gain ground for Churchill.
Kelvin Chirombo was at the end of one such run and made his way to the try line with captain Tafadzwa Mukonyora who was having arguably one of his worst days putting all aside to convert and put his side 7-5 ahead. Minutes later Mukonyora would slot in a penalty to give his team a five point buffer.
Poor ball handling that was affecting the Bulldogs in the first half, came back to haunt them in the second interval as another failed grab and a missed tackle by Zephaniah Nkomo left Kyle Xaba free to run through for his second try and this time Devon Aspeden made sure the conversion was true to reclaim the lead.
With only 10 minutes left on the clock, the hosts failed to handle a simple pass and left Newhope Garufu with a chance to run through and kick the ball in front of him before diving under the posts to make the try. Joshua Mukurazhizha converted to extend the lead and the Haraians would hold on to post a famous 17-12 victory over the hosts who are also tournament favorites.
Churchill Head coach, Geoffrey Madhake was not pleased with the performance but lauded his team’s character for the victory.
“We played a crappy game and at the end it was endurance and character that won us the match, we were poor in our ball handling and the things we usually do good. I think it was because of the dew on the surface but I am happy we have somewhere to build upon in our next match,” said the respected coach who has enforced discipline in the team.
Churchill will play their next match tomorrow(Mon-31-March) but they wait for the pairing today to know who they will be up against.
Churchill 1st XV: 1. Gabriel Siphapate 2. Rungano Farira 3. Kelvin Chikowore 4. Charles Gambiza 5. Takudzwa Chikwanya 6. Nyasha Tongogara 7. Newhope Garufu 8. Leon Ndlovu 9. Joshau Mukarazhizha 10. Takudzwa Mukonyora 11. Robin Chionyore 12. Kenny Chirombo 13. Zephaniah Nkomo 14. Benson Gabi 15. Junior Vambe
Reserves: Stanley Magwenzi, Albert Gotora, Zvikomborero Muzorewa, Tinashe Jameson, Moses Matenga, Munashe Mugwagwa, Liberty Bhango
Head Coach: Geoffrey Madhake
Assembly Coach: Bob Mahari