Matabeleland Warriors Back To Winning Ways

Coming from two consecutive losses at the hands of Police Defenders and Mutare Sports Club, Matabeleland Warriors bounced back to winning ways in the Intercity Rugby League on Saturday in Gweru as they dismissed Gweru Sports Club 24-00.

The southern giants snatched the match in the second half where they did much of the damage scoring three tries as the two sides spent the better part of the first half evenly matched.

A try by Mat Warriors’ Emmanuel Mzimakana just three minutes before half time broke the deadlock between the two sides with an extra two points from a conversion by Tarisai Mugariri to make it 07-00 at the break.

Emmanuel Ngwanda took to the scoreboard 10 minutes into the second half, however with a failed conversion, as Mat Warriors extended the lead to 12-00.

Two tries from Walter Gode and Theo Chiremba in the last eight minutes of the game sealed Gweru’s fate as they added 10 more points to the scoreboard with Mugariri adding two more points from a conversion while missing the other bringing the final score to 24-00.

Matabeleland Warriors Assistant Coach, Aubrey Dube was satisfied with his side’s performance despite missing some of his key senior players.

“We are very happy with the win the boys have worked very hard. We had a bit of a slump in concentration in the past two games but the guys are coming up and we are looking forward to the second half of the season.

“We have also had a lot of injuries and one guy on national duty and those are the senior guys who are not around and they are key players who play a very big role,” Dube said.

He went on to say this year was a rebuilding year and are on track after reaching their peak in 2012 before the National Rugby League abruptly ended which greatly affected their momentum.

Gweru Sports Club Rugby Chairman, Charles Gwanzura said his team fared well against the visitors for the better part of the day but bad officiating contributed to their defeat.

“The refereeing is costing us, the game was evenly matched for the greater part of the game and towards the end of the game bad calls by the ref became too much and things fell apart but I think we have really improved as a team.

“Some calls by the ref were outrageous and killed the tempo of the game and players got frustrated. The first couple of bad calls guys let them go but continuous bad calls eventually cost us,” he said.

The Mat Warriors Asst Coach said the issue of refereeing is just Gweru’s opinion and any team will complain as long as things are not going their way and did not think there was anything “too wrong” about the ref.

Complaints against bad officiating in the ICL have recently become rampant with quite a handful of clubs having complained on the level and standard of refereeing, calling for the Zimbabwe Rugby Referees Society to conduct refresher courses to up their standards.

Gweru has only won one game of the eight they have played so far and face possible relegation as they are now on third position from the bottom while Matabeleland Warriors have won four of their eight league matches.

Three teams will be relegated without any promotions into the league next season meaning if relegated Gweru will have to wait two seasons before retaining any hopes of returning into the rugby premier league.

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