St George’s and St John’s In Stalemate at Harare Trials

Interprovincial rugby trials took place Friday and today (16 May) at high schools in respective provinces around the country. Set at St John’s College, the Mashonaland trials were the most contentious, with over a thousand spectators present to watch some of the “big” clashes set for the afternoon.

The first of the big derbies didn’t live up to expectation as Prince Edward proved too strong for their struggling rivals Churchill, defeating them with a resounding 35-03. While the spectators might have enjoyed the Tigers’ flair, the game was nothing like the cat and dog fight we’ve been spoilt to between the cross-town rivals over the years.

A Prince Edward player offloads in the tackle
The Tigers were too menacing for the Bulldogs to contain

In contrast, the battle of the saints – St John’s College and St George’s College – gave the spectators some true edge-of-the-seat rugby. St George’s College put on an exciting show after the break to come up from 05-20 to 22-20. A converted try off a penalty in front of the posts put the hosts back in the lead.

Fullback, Tarisai Mapfumo celebrates the try that ignited hope for a comeback for St George's
Fullback, Tarisai Mapfumo celebrates the try that ignited hope for a comeback for St George’s

A last-minute try at the end of a well-worked set play gave St George’s a chance to snatch a win. With the scoreboard reading 27-27 Bruce Angus of St George’s stood over the ball, measured it up and went for it. The St John’s College lads did what rams do best. As soon as Bruce flinched, the Rams charged at him, and he failed to bisect the uprights. Before the St George’s College faithful and mates view him as the villain that cost them the game against their rivals, they should regard him as the hero who helped them orchestrate a great come back.

Earlier in the day Eaglesvale made light work of Allan Wilson, comfortably winning 43-19. Hellenic also proved too strong for Vainona seeing them off 33-7. Heritage had to work for their victory against Ellis Robbins coming from behind to edge them 15-14.

Meanwhile at Hartsfield in Bulawayo, Falcon College continued to show their might, this time in a resounding 48-0 crushing of their Matabeleland rivals Christian Brothers College. Peterhouse Boys won 23-5 against Lomagundi College in the big one at the Mashonaland Country Districts trials that took place at Watershed College.

Provincial sides will battle it out at Falcon College next weekend, May 22-23, where national squad selections for the annual Coca Cola Craven Week will take place.