MINNOWS Police Defenders were yesterday handed a reality check in their own backyard after succumbing to a humiliating 74-12 defeat to Harare Sports Club in a one-sided Intercity Rugby League encounter at Tomlinson Depot yesterday.
Sportivo, who narrowly lost out on the ticket to represent Zimbabwe in the Gold Cup competition to local rivals Old Georgians last year proved their class against apparently shaky Defenders side.
The home side had a torrid time stopping their opponents' determined forwards who appeared equally quick with their backline scoring five of their total 11 haul of tries.
A defense malfunction propelled the third-placed Sportivo to 45 points at halftime, with the cops responding through loosehead prop Gerald Chinyanya's solitary unconverted try.
In the second half, Defenders played a more defensive game in an attempt to stop further humiliation but their foes were not done, crossing the whitewash five more times to seal their emphatic dominance.
At full time, Police eighth man Innocent Nyatsanza scored their second try but it was too late for a comeback.
Speaking to The Standard soon after the game, Police coach Paul Gosho said his charges could have done better if they eliminated schoolboy errors they showed, especially in the first half.
"Our letdown was defence and not taking play up and guys not playing their roles; we did not take the fight to the sports club," said Gosho.
In the top of the table clash played later at the same venue, reigning champions Old Georgians maintained their perfect start to the season after cruising to a 26-0 win over Matabeleland Warriors.
The result means Old Georgians move to the top of the 11-team log standing ahead of Warriors, who drop to second place after being handed their first defeat of the season.
Intercity Rugby League results at a glance:
Old Georgians 26-0 Matabeleland Warriors, Mutare Sports Club 70-5 Police Bulldogs, Harare Sports Club 69-12 Police Defenders, Old Miltonians 5-30 Old Hararians
Police Defenders . . . (5) 12
Harare Sports Club . . . (45) 74