Rugby Sport

Arrows, Diggers clash in league opener


THE 2016 National Rugby League (NRL) returns to action today with defending champions Red Arrows seeking to continue with their dominance on the local scene.
Arrows host ‘Men at Work’ Diggers in a mouthwatering Week One fixture in Lusaka while promoted sides Kitwe Playing Fields (KPF) and Green Buffaloes have tricky ties against Green Eagles and Chibuluma respectively.
Buoyed by last Saturday’s Nchanga 10s triumph, the airmen are expected to fire from all cylinders at Yotam Muleya Grounds.
Arrows beat Buffaloes 5-0 to lift the Nchanga 10s title and coach Mwamba Chishimba knows that a win against ‘Men at Work’ Diggers will set the tone for this season.
Arrows have won the league for the last two consecutive seasons.
Kabwe Musonda, Terry Kaushiku, Vincent Nkole, Birthlock Sikaona and Edward Mumba hold the key to Arrows success.
On the other hand, Diggers will be looking to start the campaign on a roaring note after a disastrous 2015 season.
To cause an upset, coach Lawrence Njovu will rely on Brian Mbalwa, Patrick Chanda, Philip Kamanga and Dean Zulu.
KPF will be making a return to the NRL after an 11-year absence.
This match is expected to produce sparks, as the home side boosts of experienced players who crossed over from Diggers last year.
Fine Chikumbi, Ackim Mushota, Benaya Mukwamba, Carlos Kanyama and Besa Ntumba are all former Diggers players who will give Eagles a torrid time.
Eagles will be eager to stamp authority and will rely on veteran Tedious Chipoya for victory.
Nkwazi are favourites to win and will summon influential players – Leonard Malipenga and Peter Lishika to overcome Lusaka.
But ‘Powerhouse’ has enough ammunition in Ali Bhika and Israel Kalumba to carry the day.
Elsewhere, Chibuluma welcome Buffaloes.
In Division Two, ‘Killer Bees’ Ndola Wanderers host Mufulira, Prisons take on Roan while Kansanshi lie in wait for Konkola.
‘Rampant Lions’ Nchanga are on bye in Week One.

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