By RONALD CHAWE –
LEAGUE leaders Kitwe Playing Fields (KPF) today return to action in the National Rugby League (NRL) after a two-week break looking to consolidate their top spot but have to deal an awkward customer.
Similarly, second placed Red Arrows have a tough Lusaka derby as they try to catch up with the leaders in their continued hope of winning the league title for the fifth straight year.
Lusaka v KPF
KPF have been all conquering this year hence their eight-point lead at the top of the table but today’s outing away to a former champion means they need to dig deep to pick up a win.
Playing at the Showgrounds turf in Lusaka where every team has tasted defeat before, KPF will need to summon all they can to ensure they keep their league title chase healthy.
Both sides were out of action last weekend as clubs engaged in clearing a backlog of games and will be going into this one fresh.
KPF, who are leading the pack with 56 points, will however go into this one as favourites with ‘Powerhouse’ Lusaka lying in eighth place and still looking to rediscover the form that made them a league terror.
Lusaka have this season lost five times in twelve games and are on 33 points but being former champions and playing a team headed for the title is enough motivation for them to be the spoilers.
KPF coach Maybin Sinkala will look to Benaya Mukwamba, Fine Chinkumbe, Aaron Chinura and Charles Tembo to carry the day, with all not new to the hosts and the more reason this match is set to be an explosive encounter.
Arrows v Buffaloes
The airmen’s aspirations of defending the crown and winning a fifth consecutive title will come under scrutiny when they face bitter rivals Green Buffaloes.
The Zambia Army side is on a high having swatted the ‘Killer Bees’ Ndola Wanderers 75-0 in a league catch up game.
The Mwamba Chishimba coached Arrows however have some players away with the national sevens squad away in Lesotho for the Maseru Sevens and this tie should place them on red alert to counter sixth placed Buffaloes.
Buffaloes have re-invigorated layers like Niven Kunda, Mweemba Mwansa, Collins Chena, Ferdinand Kashimoto, Stephen Mwansa, Tom Luhanga and Given Mwaumbi, who were on target against Ndola.
Arrows are on 48 points, six better than Buffaloes.
Roan v Diggers
‘Men Art Work’ will be seeking for redemption when they visit Roan, who are smarting from a 13-12 defeat to re-vitalised Mufulira A.
Elsewhere, at Yotam Muleya ground, Nkwazi welcome Mufulira B in what looks like an easy match up for the Zambia Police outfit with Ndola locking horns with Mufulira A.
Kabwe side Green Eagles will be hosting Kansanshi and then Nchanga at home to neighbours Konkola.
Chibuluma are on bye.