10 November 2012

Zambia: Big Guns Eye Knock Out Cup Finals

DESPERATE Red Arrows today take on archrivals 'Powerhouse' Lusaka hoping to reach the finals and subsequently win the 2012 Knock Out Cup competition to make up for what has been a miserable season for the airmen.

While Arrows, yet to win any accolades this season having already surrendered their league title to Diggers, the Kitwe giants would be hoping to reach the finals to win their eighth silverware.

Diggers take on Green Buffaloes in a double header semi-final at the Lusaka Rugby Club with Arrows battling it out against Lusaka in the second day in what rugby followers would be hoping for explosive encounters.

Diggers v Buffaloes

On paper, this fixture highly favours Diggers to bury the ground forces and march towards their eighth title of what has been an excellent season for the undisputed Zambian rugby kings.

Diggers have won the league title including the Nchanga 10's, American, Mufulira, Bonnie Mutale, Roan and David Phiri Lusaka Challenge Cup competitions, while Buffaloes have the Ndola Sevens to their display cabinet this season.

The Kitwe side that beat Chibuluma 21-7, have the likes of Beneya Mukwamba and player-maker Kabwela Mulenga among others to win them the match off a Buffaloes side that eliminated Konkola 34-7, save for inconsistency this season and has the likes of Sotho Kafwimbe, Dan Kabila, Boyd Nyirenda, Carlos Kanyemba and Fernand Kashimoto, to win them the match.

Diggers managed a double over Buffaloes in the league, winning the first meeting 25-6 before getting a walkover 21-0 after the Midlands side failed to make the trip to Kitwe.

Lusaka v Arrows

Both sides have been disappointing this season though Lusaka have atleast got the Heroes Sevens title to their name, despite not putting up a strong challenge to halt Diggers claiming almost all silverware.

Lusaka whitewashed Nchanga 84-0 and would be bubbling with confidence heading into this fixture against Arrows who beat 'Killer Bees' Ndola Wanderers 29-7. Both sides managed a win over each other with Lusaka winning the first fixture 12-0 before Arrows won 13-3 in a reverse fixture.

Playing at home might just give Lusaka that extra edge to see off Arrows with the likes of Shelleni Michello, Ernest Mwansa, veteran Musonda Kaminsa, Terry Kasushiku and Israel Kalumba all playing some good rugby.

Coach Noble Chisanga would be hoping his side rises to the occasion and beat Lusaka to sail through to the finals for their title defence.

The team can boast of being defending champions having won it in 2010 when the last tournament was held.

Arrows has the likes of Nsama Lombe, Daniel Sakala, Chizola Banda, Berthlock Sikaona to win them the match.

The finals of the KO Cup competition will be played next Saturday, November 17 to officially declare the 2012 Buildcon-Zambia Rugby Football Union (ZRFU) rugby league closed.

The winners of this year's A Division league, Diggers will get K50 million for emerging overall winners while the B league winners will get away with K30 million. The prize money would be made available by the league sponsors Buildcon Investments.

This year's league sponsorship package, for the first time in the history of rugby in Zambia, entails the dressing of all A Division sides with the provision of two sets of jerseys and playing boots.

The package also includes K30 million to each club for logistics and two pairs of jerseys for the national rugby team and one pair of track suits.

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