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Stykes blames over-confidence for Dragons defeat

Rugby League match at Harare Sports club.

Rugby League match at Harare Sports club.

SHELL–SHOCKED Harare Sports Club head coach Nsikelelo “Stykes” Sibanda feels that over-confidence played a part in his side’s defeat by city rivals Old Georgians. The crush on a day the National Rugby League entered its second round stretch was the first for Sportivo who were on a roll before the two months break. The 2012 champions had won all but one of their games with their worst performance being the 14-14 draw away to Busters at Hartsfield Rugby Grounds in Bulawayo.

Sibanda, who was not amused by the result, believes his players are living on previous results and were over-confident and underestimated the Dragons who stunned them 11-14 in a hotly contested tie at Harare Sports Club ground.  He admitted that the defeat was a bitter pill to swallow and stressed that they were the architects of their own downfall. “Look, I think we didn’t play our normal game, the boys probably thought we only had to turn up for the game to win it,” Sibanda told the Financial Gazette Sport.

“My boys were over-confident and underestimated the Dragons. I hope it’s a good lesson to us that you should not be over-confident until you have actually won the game.” He added: “Get on the field and win the game first before you think you have actually won. All I ask for is a good performance but sadly we didn’t put in one against the Dragons. Credit to them (Dragons) because they clearly wanted it (to win) than us.”

Sibanda, however believes Sportivo can still win the title. “Look, winning the title is going to be tough but I think there is a lot of work to be done. Any of the top three teams (Harare Sports Club, Old Georgians and Old Hararians) can win the title but I think we (Harare Sports Club) are in with a good chance as well.”

Harare Sports Club flyhalf, Teddy “Boxer” Hwata concurred with Sibanda saying:“We deserved to lose (against Old Georgians) because we didn’t play our game — we were just all over and were too relaxed and over-confident. We should know that every game is like a final — we were too relaxed.”

The Dragons staged a remarkable second half comeback after Sportivo had raced into a 8-6 lead going into the break. The Dragons managed only two penalties from Hilton Mudariki while Sportivo had a penalty from Teddy “Boxer” Hwata and a scorching try from Stephen Hinduza. While Sportivo were expected to go flat out in the second half, Dragons ‘Hilton Mudariki scored a try after Jacques Leitao tied the scores at 11-11 to snatch an unlikely victory with few minutes to the end of the match.

It was a game the hosts should have won after dominating all areas of the contest but poor handling, poor option taking allowed the Dragons to go into position which was enough to see them bag the win. Old Georgians stand–in coach, Vakai Hove who was shown a red card in the second half as tempers flared had no kind words for the match official Tinashe Kamwenje for his questionable officiating.

“It was a tight one and it could have gone either way but it was marred by poor officiating.” “We are trying to push Zimbabwe rugby forward but there are people working hard to kill the game. What kind of refereeing was that — robbing everyone? Our referees should actually turn on a game of rugby on television and watch how top referees in other leagues go about their business.

“But at the end the day I feel disheartened for them (Harare Sports Club) because they had put in a lot of effort but I think the bulk of the balls were ours and we were fortunate that we won. We are happy about it because they (Harare Sports Club) got it in the first game and we got them this time around and hopefully we will see them in the play offs as well.”