By SHAMAOMA MUSONDA –
Diggers 0 Lusaka 3
RED Arrows Rugby Club’s league winning flanker, Daniel Sakala at the weekend suffered a horrific double leg-break injury during the season-opening Atlas Copco Nchanga-10 Rugby tournament won by ‘Powerhouse’ Lusaka in Chingola.
And it was the last kick of the game that won Lusaka the title and got them off the mark for the 2014 season.
But for Sakala, it was a sad story as his left leg snapped near the ankle. His tibia and fibula broke as he pushed for a try in a preliminary round match against Roan Antelope.
Distraught players from both teams and the fans in stands watched in awe as medics rushed onto the pitch to administer first aid on Sakala for more than 30 minutes.
He was immediately rushed to the hospital before Arrows sponsors, Zambia Air Force sent a chopper to airlift him to Lusaka for specialised treatment.
Sakala is admitted to Maina Soko Military Hospital and being attended to by a specialist from the Italian Hospital of Lusaka.
Running for a try, Sakala was tackled near the try-line and managed to get up and as pushed for a try, his bones just snapped.
Zambia Rugby Union (ZRU) vice-president, Owen Mhango described the injury as sad to a hard-working player and wished Sakala a quick recovery.
After that injury, Arrows picked themselves to win that game but their fortunes could only go as far as the semi-final when they encountered an all conquering Diggers, ‘the-men-at-work.
Whereas as Arrows were looking to carry on from last year’s form when they grabbed the title off pacesetters Diggers, the Kitwe side took the weekend game as an opportunity to revenge for the bitter loss to the league crown they thought was bagged.
In this tightly contested semi-final, it was Benaya Mukwamba who scored a penalty to give the Kitwe giants a 3-0 win.
That victory only gave them a date in the final with an even worse rival in the form of Lusaka.
It turned out to be a tough game which in the end handed Lusaka the K5,000 winners’ prize while Diggers pocketed K2,500 as losing finalists.
To get to the final, Lusaka beat Green Eagles 7-5 and will be thankful that they managed to convert their only try of the game while Eagles missed the conversion.
The final match was filled with all the spectacle needed as after a sustained pressure on both ends of the try-line but failed to yield anything, Lusaka’s Simon Kapindu chose the other option of a drop goal just at the nick of time.
With the last action of the game, Kapindu kicked the ball to break the Diggers hearts and send the Lusaka side and its cheerleaders into a frenzy of celebrations.
In the Plate category, Roan beat Mufulira 5-0 to take the accolade and make up for an early exit with the former receiving K1, 500 and the latter getting K1, 000.
Defending champions Green Buffaloes did not make the trip.