Lions de Fer miss play-offs despite win over Sharks

Saturday Lions de Fer 24-15 Kigali Sharks Lions de Fer missed out on qualification to the semi-final playoffs in the national rugby league despite winning 24-15 against Kigali Sharks on Saturday at Utexrwa ground.
Jean de Dieu Habimana tries to stop Lion de Fer captain Olivier Nikwigize. (Stephen Kalimba)
Jean de Dieu Habimana tries to stop Lion de Fer captain Olivier Nikwigize. (Stephen Kalimba)

Saturday

Lions de Fer 24-15 Kigali Sharks

Lions de Fer missed out on qualification to the semi-final playoffs in the national rugby league despite winning 24-15 against Kigali Sharks on Saturday at Utexrwa ground.

The Lions needed to score four tries to have a chance of leapfrogging second-placed Thousand Hills, but it wasn’t to be against a stubborn Sharks defence that had only five regulars among the fifteen on the field.

Sharks as in their previous game chased the Lions by converting 5 penalties. Fullback Jean de Dieu Habimana put away three but misfired on the next three.

The misses came after a concussion he suffered while making a tackle on a much bigger Jean Leonard Twizeyimana.

Captain Barnabas Ngizwenimana took the next penalty. Habimana came back to convert the fifth and played on despite calls to go off.

Lion de Fer camped at the Sharks try area for most of the game but managed only 3 tries with prop Seda Roland crashing over the line from a penalty for the first, in second half Twizeyimana also crashed over and scrumhalf Jean d’Amour Ishyimwe scored from a quick tap penalty.

Ishyimwe converted all three plus a penalty. However, Lions forward Victory Muhire Bebe faces a race against time to make the team for the upcoming Kowloon 10s after picking a shoulder injury.

Lions are now tied on 10 points with Thousand Hills. The Hills have a game in hand against table leaders Remera Buffaloes and have a better head to head record against the Lions whom they thumped 54-14 in their meeting.

In the Southern Province league, the table remains unchanged. Muhanga RFC lead with 6 while Kamonyi Pumas and U.R Grizzlies are without a point. The top two teams will join the top two from Kigali in the semi-final playoffs.

editorial@newtimes.co.rw

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