Old Hararians (OH) regained their glamour after an eight year drought by beating their old rivals Old Georgians (OGs) in the Lion Lager National Rugby League finals, held at their home turf in Milton Park on Saturday.
OH, who were once a dominant force in club level rugby at the turn of the millennium, claiming six titles in 10 years, just slipped into victory this time, beating OGs 29-27.
The first half of the match was dominated by OGs who harvested the first points from Kudakwashe Chiwanza’s try, in the 17th minute to be later converted by Boyd Rous.
OGs, affectionately known as the Dragons,harvested their other points through winger Titus Mutateguta, and hooker Keith ‘Beefy’ Maren, while OH’s first half nine points came from penalty kicks by their captain Tichafara Makwanya.
The second half however saw OH, better known as Marasta, putting up a fight to turn over the match into a win.
The introduction of seasoned scrumhalf Tich Chidongo, Gardner Nechironga and Takudzwa Chieza managed to rejuvenate the side.
Makwanya explained: “We had to take a hard look at ourselves at the break. The quality we have in terms of the players we have wasn’t reflecting in our first half performance so we decided to knuckle down and play for each other and fortunately it worked in the end.”
He said they hope to maintain the standards in the next season.
Meanwhile, OGs coach Grant Mitchell said: “It was definitely a game of two halves. We controlled it nicely in the first half, we stuck to our plan. In the second half we allowed them to run at us.”
He congratulated OH on their win.
In another match played earlier in the day at the same venue, Harare Sports Club beat Matebeleland Warriors 62-5 in the third and fourth place play-offs.