GREEN Buffaloes were at the weekend crowned 2012 Ndola Sevens Rugby champions after thrashing Chibuluma 17-5 in the final watched by an enthusiastic crowd at Ndola Wanderers Club.
On the way to picking up the K5.5 million top prize, Dan Kabila placed Buffaloes' first try which man-of-the-match Chola Chilufya successfully converted before Carlos Kanyemba added the second try that was not converted.
Owen Mwila ensured Buffaloes got their first Ndola Sevens accolade with the third try and Chilufya expertly converted while Chibuluma, who pocketed K3 million, had Fine Chikumbi to thank for the consolation try after the conversion was missed.
To reach the finals, Buffaloes bashed Roan 11-0 in the semi-finals while a sudden death try saw Chibuluma knock out Green Eagles after a 17-17 draw in regulation time.
In this tournament where the nation's top sides were nowhere near the last four, defending champions, Red Arrows failed to come out from Pool C, crashing out at the preliminary stage while Diggers, boasting of four cup titles this season, lost to Chibuluma in the quarter-finals.
And former Zambia Rugby Football Union (ZRFU) president, Peter Manda expressed happiness with the standards displayed during the one-day event.
Manda, who was guest of honour, said local rugby was on the upswing as evidenced by the skills and determination showed by the players.
He said by Chibuluma's beating Diggers was a good indicator that rugby was on the right track.
"As for the national team players, they have to start fighting for positions in the national team; it's not automatic anymore because a lot of interest has been aroused by the new players.
"They have got the passion, the determination and you can see from the result that the teams we least expected to win are the ones that won and played in the finals," Manda said.
Meanwhile, ZRFU has said the trials for the Under-19 national team will be conducted this weekend during the North versus South competition at the Ndola Wanderers Club.
ZRFU general secretary, Francis Chitambo said a provisional 36-member squad would be picked after the competition and that coach Phillip Dongo would later name his final 24 to represent Zambia at the Confederation of African Rugby Youth Championship set for August 25 to September 1 in Zimbabwe.
Chitambo said Edward Chisenga would be assisted by Raphael Mutale to drill the South team while Hein Havenga and Buuka Ntembe will be in charge of the North squad.