PE vs Chuchill: Battle of traditions

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HARARE – Jubilee Field will be a caldron this afternoon when the Prince Edward School Tigers host Churchill Bulldogs in an eagerly anticipated schoolboy rugby match.


Prince Edward are unbeaten in eight games while the Bulldogs come with a four-game winning streak.


Churchill have a point to prove coming into this match as they feel they are the best rugby school on the land.


The Bulldogs do not have the best facilities or resources to engage in pre-season tours to neighbouring countries, they have somehow continued to dig deep to surpass better resourced teams.


For PE the objective is simple; beat Churchill and claim the year-long bragging rights.


“It will be an interesting match; both teams are unbeaten although Churchill has not played other big schools, Falcon, St Georges and St Johns so that’s the difference,” said  Tigers coach Shaun De Souza said.


“Churchill would love to be the team to spoil our unbeaten run. Both teams will come out guns blazing despite what happened at Cottco.”


PE beat Churchill at the Schools rugby festival earlier this year and have gone on to be an immovable force spearheaded by the halfback pairing of flyhalf Tinashe Humbiro and scrummie Michael Mhute, who have been outstanding while wing Tapiwa Marimira has been a regular try scorer.


The Bulldogs are not reading much into PE’s run and are eager to breach the Tigers.


Bulldogs coach Bob Mahari is confident his side ready mentally and physically.


“It’s a battle of government schools, a battle of traditions, obviously the guys who did not go to PE on scholarship want to prove a point,” Mahari said.


“We hear Churchill is age group cheating but as soon as our players go to PE, all of a sudden, they are the right age. It feels like for the guys to do well to be considered for Craven Week they have to be at PE.


“But for us as coaches we coming from a season where we are unbeaten and we are going to continue that trend, we don’t worry about the scoreboard all we are concerned about is that we are continuing to unearth talent that is going on to play for the national team.”


The Bulldogs, who have four players that were selected in the Academy Week, the second tier competition the Under 18 Craven will hope that they can cause an upset at Jubilee.


The Oworru brothers Mathew, eigthman, and James, flank, have been the driving force for Churchill’s four game unbeaten run.


Prop Victor Mupunga has also stood out while fly half Farai Ndlovu and centre Cosmas Mubaiwa will be hoping to shake off nagging injuries to shine for the Bulldogs.

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