Rugby: Isimbi powers Hills to top spot with win at Sharks

Thousand Hills players celebrating after beating Kigali Sharks at Red Cross grounds on Saturday. (Courtesy)

Thousand Hills outclassed reigning champions Kigali Sharks over the weekend to go top of the table in Central Division of the National Rugby League.

The blossoming partnership of Carlos Isimbi and skipper Heritier Habimana inspired the former champions to a 19-8 victory at Red Cross grounds.

Man-of-the-match Isimbi contributed nine points in the first-half before adding another try in the second-half, while returning captain Habimana scored a try in injury time to seal the win.

Winger Prince Thierry Uwamahoro scored a try and a penalty for the Kigali Sharks, who now lie second with 10 points; one ahead of third-placed Lion de Fer.

Thousand Hills are three points clear at the table.

In a post-match interview with Times Sport, Sharks head coach Fils Moise Habamugisha admitted that his side were besieged “because of lack of enough preparations” but he was confident they can still qualify for the final with victory against Lion de Fer in their next fixture.

In a separate interview, a visibly smiling Hills coach Jimmy Mugabo was all praise for his players, noting that scoring four penalties in the first-half boosted his side’s confidence.

“The guys played well; both at the front and backline. We were the better team, and we definitely deserved the victory,” said Mugabo.

“Our objective is to reach the final, and win the title this season.”

The Hills take on Lion de Fer on Saturday, a week before the latter face Kigali Sharks.

The local top tier league is played under two divisions, on home and away format. The Central Division comprises; Kigali Sharks, Thousand Hills, and Lion de Fer while the Southern Division includes Muhanga, Kamonyi Pumas, UR Grizzlies and Rusizi Resilience.

Resilience, last year’s finalists, top the table with 14 points, followed by Muhanga with 10 points.

After the regular season under the two divisions, table leaders will meet in the final to determine the 2019 champions.

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