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APARTHY MARS RUGBY FIESTA

THE second edition of the Old Mutual Super Rugby weekend was hit by a low turnout as Vodacom Bulls and the DHL Stormere romped to empathic victories yesterday. By Tinashe Kusema

Less than a thousand fans were in attendance, at the National Sports Stadium, as compared to last year’s crowd which was estimated at 19 500.

Kyros Sports director, Kisset Chirengende, attributed the poor turn out to the short notice and below par marketing of the event.

“It was always going to be a challenge, given the short notice and poor marketing of the event,” said Chirengende.

“We just had two weeks to organize the event, and as such our marketing wasn’t as robust as we would have liked.

“There was always the fear of the rains too, but luckily the weather held up and we managed to successfully host the visiting teams without any hitches,” he said.

The poor attendance is also likely to affect the Kyros Sports ambitious target of entering into a partnership with the Vodacom Bulls.

Under the deal, it is rumored that there would be talent exchange between the two entities with Vodacom Bulls adopting Zimbabwe as their second home venue.

While Chirengende refused to divulge more, he said, “Our relationship is strong, the teams have been fantastic to us and we are very humbled by their continued commitment to come here every year.

“The Bulls are yet to commit to anything yet, but we hope to sit down with them in the coming weeks and see where we go from here,” he said.

However, for what the day lacked in numbers, it amply made up in entertainment as all four teams brought their “A” game.

The Bulls were first up and romped to a 38-17 victory over a young but promising Emirates Lions.

While the result was of very little relevance, it was Bafana Nhleko and his band of young Lions that won over the hearts of the small but appreciative crowd.

“Look, we came here with a very young side and the objective of this visit was for the boys to get a feel of competitive rugby.

“We had about eight kids 19-years and six who are 20.

“Nobody likes losing, but at the end of the day I am proud of my boys and I think they played well,” he said.

His opposite number and now a two-year veteran of visiting Zimbabwe, Nollis Marais seemed more eager to just brace the moment and more importantly his victory.

“It’s my second time here and the people are still fantastic. Zimbabwe is just a beautiful place.“As far as the game is concerned, we are very happy with the result.

“We played everybody, all 30 players, and saw who is ready for super rugby and who is not. “All in all, it was a good visit,’ he said.

In other game, the Stormers beat the Toyota Cheetahs 43-7 .

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