One tackle at a time…

MZOXOLO BUDAZA

Last week’s Vulisango Solomon fundraising tournament, held at Langa Stadium, provided clubs who took part, including Lagunya, with one last opportunity to work on their tactics and keep their players in shape ahead of the second round.

It was, therefore, not really a friendly tournament as that competitive match experience was much needed.

Solomon, a former Busy Bees utility forward, was injured in a Sunday league match between his side and Young Ideas back in 2005. The injury marked the end of his career prematurely and Solomon is now wheelchair bound.

The Nyanga-based side took on Western Zebras in last week’s tournament, and the signs of rustiness were immediately visible as both sets of players struggled to find their rhythm early on.

However, they improved as the game progressed as did their ball-handling and distribution.

The match was a tightly contested affair, as tries were hard to come by. The match clearly belonged to both sides’ defensive units as they dealt with everything that came their way, and the 12-8 score line in favour of Zebras bears testimony.

The game, however, was played at high pace, but neither of the two sides was really able to convert their chances into points.

That was understandable, as most of the players have been inactive for a long time due to the mid-season break. In fact, the tournament was more than welcome as it gave the coaches a chance to test what they’ve been working on during the break.

Lagunya, a newly-promoted Western Province Rugby Football Union (WPRFU) Super League C side, found the going tough in their new division, as they struggled to get maximum points earlier in the first round.

They lost their first two league matches of the season, going down 31-12 and 28-14 against Paarl and Young Stars, respectively. To their credit, however, they were not really outplayed in those matches, they just couldn’t get over the try-line as much as they would have liked to.

Collecting as many points as possible, in the early stages of the second round is key if they want to keep their Super League C status come end of the season.

Lagunya got promoted to Super League C after an impressive run in the last season’s Southern League campaign.

They finished the season in second spot with 38 points, having won eight and lost two of their 10 matches.

They were also impressive in their promotion league campaign, also known as the top nine play-offs, where three top teams from each of the Northern League, Southern League and the City League, locked on for the bragging rights.