By Trevor Makonyonga
Zambian Rugby outfit Livingstone Rhinos which has been dominantsince the inception in 2016 finally succumbed its first defeat of the tournament against FS Raiders of Zimbabwe during this year’s Rugby festival which was held in the resort town over the weekend.
Livingstone Rhinos has been so dominant that they had not considered a defeat in all its previous games during the previous Tag Rugby tournaments that they had played.
It was all tears after they lost their first match to Zimbabwean side FS Raiders on Saturday 7 December by a nail biting 44-5 on the first day of the tournament.
Founder of the team, Karen Mangalita Mumba, confirmed that herside has been dominant for over ten tournaments that they had participated in and also narrated the composition of his side.
“We have won more than ten tournaments. The girls are from the same communities. They are predominantly school girls from Linda East, Linda West, Nalituwe and Holy Cross,” said Mumba.
He also narrated how the team was formed and how proud she was of the team.
“Livingstone Rhinos was formed in 2013. We started with Tag Rugby for the first three years. For the girls we started in 2017 and it was not that good. The coach, Lovemore Maphosa Lungu, kept pushing till we started competing. We had never lost any tournament. Even the boys too they have never lost a match (they eventually lost to Milton Boys High.) The only game that can say we lost was against Hwange though it was a friendly,“ she said.
The Livingstone Rhinos founder said that it is difficult to push the girls without any incentives but she was proud of the passion that the girls showed even at the face of defeat.
“It is a big achievement to be here. Most of the girls are young and their passion is amazing. It is not really a big deal that they lost. From playing tag rugby to playing contact is a big achievement. These girls are passionate, they just come for training and we do not give them any incentives. For them to cry like that makes me proud,“ she said.
The Livingstone Rhinos had marauded every team that came their way until they were dismantled 44-5 by FS Raiders. The male side narrowly lost to Milton High School by two points in the final. Mumba revealed that there was nothing to stop the team as they had young players who will be around for so long.
In Zimbabwe, the Tag Rugby Trust has been doing well too as players like Tarren Munodani and Takunda Kamupita who graced the Victoria Falls 7s came through Tag.