Old catfight rugby rivalry rekindled

14 Jun, 2024 - 00:06 0 Views
Old catfight rugby rivalry rekindled Mutare Boys’ High School head, Philip Paduze follows the action while seated next to his Hillcrest College counterpart, Obert Chipato


Ray Bande
Senior Reporter

LAST Saturday’s nail-biting encounter pitting Hillcrest College’s Leopards against Mutare Boys’ High’s Shumbaz took many down memory lane as the two rugby teams clashed in one of their fieriest derbies.

At full time last Saturday at Hillcrest Sports Grounds, the scoreboard read: Hillcrest College 12 – 12 Mutare Boys’ High School.

Indeed, the derby lived up to expectations. It was one for the generations.

It was tense and had suspense throughout. It was simply a blockbuster rugby encounter.

Apparently, there were two derbies on the day.

Local senior boys’ clubs, Old Crestonians and Mutare Sports Club squared up as curtain raisers for the much-anticipated schools’ duel, with the seniors’ encounter, itself a first at Hillcrest.

Old Crestonians was formed by Hillcrest Old Boys, while Mutare Sports Club has always been fed by Mutare Boys’ High School players.

It was a good duel between the older cats as it ended on a nervy 20 – 17 in favour of Old Crestonians.

Manicaland Rugby Board chairperson, Mos Kapumhwa gave an account of the history of the school’s rugby derby pitting Hillcrest and Mutare Boys’ High.

“We had the perennial Nash Under-17 Rugby Games at Mutare Boys’ High school last Friday. These games set the tone for the local derby which was missing from the rugby calendar for close to seven years.

“The derby takes us back to 2005, when the Masori Trophy began. It was only a Hillcrest against MBHS clash. This trophy was donated by the Hynes family. Hynes (Snr) was a product of the then Umtali Boys’ High. He was one of the founder members of Hillcrest Schools in the early 80s.

“His son attended Hillcrest Schools and graduated from there. So both the father and son decided to present a trophy (through their family business which was called Masori), to honour their former schools.

“So 2005 saw the first Masori Trophy encounter being played. It has exchanged hands over the past years, with 2015 being the last time it exchanged hands after being won by the bigger cat (Shumbaz, Mutare Boys’ High). 2024 was the 19th year of the Masori Trophy hosted by the Leopards Hillcrest,” said Kapumha.

After the Hillcrest-Mutare Boys’ High stalemate, for Hillcrest it means going into the Winter Fair game against Watershed tomorrow (Saturday) at Hillcrest College searching for their first win of the season.

The match kicks off at 3pm.

And for Mutare Boys’ High, the Shumbaz will be looking for their first CBZ League win away to Victoria High, meaning both cats are on the prowl this Saturday.

“Manicaland Rugby Board is so excited to see rugby coming back to its former glory and see more schools playing at both primary and high school levels. We also would like to thank Kyros, CBZ schools and club rugby sponsor, Paramount Garments for coming in to partner with Manicaland Rugby by paying for ambulances and referees. We hope to see more partners coming in to assist with transport and player welfare,” he said.


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