By RONALD CHAWE –
Arrows 41 Chibuluma 7
RED Arrows bagged their fourth straight national rugby league (NRL) title following a routine win over Chibuluma to open an assailable 19-point lead at the peak of the table as ‘Powerhouse’ Lusaka face relegation.
The airmen have won the title with two games to spare as second placed Kitwe Playing Fields (KPF), on 30 points and with three games to play, cannot overhaul Arrows points tally whose fourth title bid was greatly helped by defeats to Diggers and Nkwazi.
Arrows won the title in 2010 and defended it the following season before surrendering to ‘Men at Work’ Diggers but the airmen grabbed it back in 2013 and have held it since.
Lusaka is the other side to have landed on the title in 2008 and 2009 after breaking Diggers undisputed run.
Oscar Bwalya scored a hat-trick of tries with William Daka, Mutinta Malambo, Kafula Chishimba and Ian Mukupa contributing one apiece as Arrows scored seven tries to earn a bonus point from which Terry Kaushiku could manage only three conversions.
Chibuluma scored a try which was converted by Ken Bwalya to be bottom and face prospects of playing in the second tier of the league on 15 points.
KPF 40 Lusaka 12
KPF hammered Lusaka to sneak into second position to cap what has been a good performance in their first year since winning promotion while the midlands side looks set to join Chibuluma in getting relegated.
The home side got a bonus point after scoring six tries through Ackim Mushota, who scored a brace, as Kaluba Chilundami, Derrick Chewe, Chisenga Ngomalala scored a penalty each as Charles Tembo scored two conversions and two penalties.
Lusaka, second from bottom on 19 points, scored two tries by Jackson Nkhoma and McGiven Muchindu with the former making one conversion.
Elsewhere, Green Buffaloes dented Diggers’ bid of finishing second with a 26-8 bashing in Lusaka as Green Eagles also spoiled Nkwazi’s second place bid after battering them 16-8.
Diggers have 29 points, Nkwazi 27, Buffaloes 25 and Eagles 23 points.
In the B league, Mufulira white-washed Kansanshi 75-7 to move closer to winning promotion to the elite league to be on 45 points with Konkola stepping up their challenge after beating Nchanga 15-8 to go on 35 points.