Bufalloes Vs Muhanga RFC
Resilience Vs Thousand Hills
The National Rugby Championship will resume this weekend with the two games heading to the provinces as part of the strategy to promote the sport countrywide, according to the Rwanda Rugby Federation president, Alex Araire.
Araire said the poor condition of the playing fields due to the long dry season is the reason the league has taken a while without being organized.
“We have been in a dry season. In such conditions, the grounds are very hard, dry and can easily cause serious injuries to players. But now that the weather has changed, the surface grounds can now be used,” Araire said after the Thousand Hills 7s tourney played over the weekend.
He added that, “As part of the strategy to promote the sport in other provinces countrywide, we have decided to have the two semi-final games in upcountry districts.”
On Saturday, former league champions Remera Buffaloes will take on Muhanga Rugby Football Club, while in the other semi final, Rusizi-based Resilience will host defending champions, Thousand Hills.
Remera Buffaloes beat arch-rivals Thousand Hills to retain the 7’s tourney and head coach Moise Habumugisha believes that winning the tournament gives them confidence to go for the national league title.
He said: “We are the 7’s defending champions and we are on the top of the league with 19 points, which shows that the team is performing well. All we need is to maintain the winning spirit going into the semi-final against Muhanga.”
Buffaloes defeated 7s tournament organisers, Thousand Hills, 15-12 in a tightly contested final that went into extra time at the APR FC training ground at Amahoro National Stadium. Both sides were tied 12-all at the end of normal time.
Despite losing the final, Thousand Hills’ trainer, Jimmy Adam Mugabo, admitted that the best team won because they utilized all their chances.
“We are happy that we achieved our objective, fans turned up in huge numbers which means people have started to pick interest in rugby,” he explained.
Kigali Sharks finished third place while the Veteran select side took fourth place. Thousand Hills’ player Jimmy Jackson was named the Most Valuable Player.