Mixed Fortunes For Dragons, Rams
St George's began the 2018 Schools Rugby Season with a comfortable win over Christian Brothers College while fellow Borrowdale-based St John's College, Heritage and Hellenic Academy all fell to their opponents in the opening matches played last weekend.
Pre-season predictions were fulfilled when St George's, who have elevated Max "Smyro" Madziva to head coach in a reshuffle that retained all other members of the technical department now in different capacities, came back from Bulawayo all smiles.
This was after the Dragons posted a sweet 24-3 victory over Christian Brothers College that served to re-assure their fans of the team's gradual return to their heady rugby days. Saints have been counted among the title favourites this year and first showed their capability in defeating the then fancied Churchill at the Dairifest.
Fellow Borrowdale side St John's College also continued to struggle after the festival and lost out 30-43 to Kyle College in Masvingo, the same fate that befell Heritage College, also from Borrowdale, who crashed 15-53 to Watershed in Marondera.
It was a weekend of deep mourning among the rugby fraternity in Harare's wealthiest residential area after Lomagundi College whacked Hellenic Academy 26-10.
Prince Edward's Tigers held firm to dismiss a fiery challenge from visiting Falcon College in their opening game of the 2018 Schools Rugby Season at Jubilee Field on Saturday.
The most emphatic result came from Nigel Phillip Field where home side Churchill School crashed to an unfathomable 6-57 thumping by Peterhouse College which left huge question marks over the Bulldogs' pedigree to emulate their 2016-championship winning side.
While Peterhouse have always been Churchill's bogey side in both good and bad times, the winning margin was never expected to be so high, particularly after Churchill's impressive showing at the Dairibord Rugby Festival a week prior to their first league fixture.
In the end, PE and Saints were the only Harare schools to achieve wins as Gateway High lost in Gweru to Midlands Christian College who triumphed 48-5.
Hillcrest College showed they will be a tough nut to crack after walloping Mutare Boys High 76-0 in an eastern city derby and resurgent Milton Boys High started a season of bright promise with a 51-0 victory over Kwekwe High.
Falcon Maddogs, coached by Sables assistant mentor Brendan Dawson, came out guns blazing following their much-vaunted coaching clinic conducted by top South African coaches and showed great improvement from last year's performances.
Defending champions, PE coach Shaun de Souza was satisfied with the result against a well-balanced opponent.
"It is never easy playing Falcon, they are always well-drilled. They have just come from adding more rugby knowledge to their arsenal from the . . .camp which made the fixture even more difficult for us. We had injuries, and that complicated issues but we gave it our all.,'' said De Souza.
The most enticing fixtures are between PE Tigers and Churchill Bulldogs and the Borrowdale derby between St George's and St John's Colleges.
Prince Edward 31-11 Falcon
Peterhouse 57-6 Churchill
Lomagundi 26-10 Hellenic
St George's 24-3 Christian Brothers College
Kyle 43-30 St John's College
Watershed 53-15 Heritage
Midlands Christian College 48-5 Gateway
Kwekwe 0-51 Milton
Hillcrest 76-0 Mutare Boys High