FORMER champions, ‘Men At Work’, Diggers’ lead at the top of the National Rugby League log today comes under threat when they take on old foes Kitwe Playing Fields in a derby at ‘Spoilers Den’.
Champions Red Arrows travel to Mufulira to play a determined Mufulira A in another weekend’s must-watch fixture in Mufulira.
Both teams buoyed by victories in their respective last weekend over Konkola and Chibuluma makes this afternoon’s affair thrilling for neutrals and a nervy affair for the teams involved.
KPF beat Chibuluma 24-3 last week and go into the match with the aim of halting Diggers’ surge on top of the league with 27 points.
However, they are aware that Diggers embarrassed Konkola 185-0 to open a three point lead over second placed Arrows.
Diggers coach Lawrence Njovu, is expected to maintain the same team that beat Konkola and is not leaving anything to chance saying his team would not underrate their opponents.
“We are ready for them and take note, we have worked hard to improve massively and that can be seen in our last week’s results against Konkola. I think KPF will not derail us. Topping the league for the first time is motivation enough and it’s that three points that we need to maintain until the end of the season and I think we have an upper hand against them,” said Njovu.
Njovu will once again turn to Kaluba Chilundami who scored five tries against Konkola, Patson Kunda who had a hat-trick of tries and a quintet that includes, Zimbabwean import Tendai Muringai, Jason Thole, Maybin Mukosha, Kabaso Mulenga and Elisha Bwalya had a brace of tries each.
His counterpart Maybin Sinkala said his team if focused on playing any team regardless of the name.
“As soon as we opened the season my players have been focused to play any team and not names of teams. We are expecting to enjoy the season as we aim to develop further,” he said.
In Mufulira, Arrows must beat Mufulira ‘A’ to maintain the unbeaten run as well as to consolidate their second place on the table.
Any other result for the ZAF sponsored side will see third -placed Nkwazi on 23 points leapfrog them should they beat ‘Killer bees’ Ndola Wanderers in Ndola.
This match could go either way as both teams will be itching for victory to enhance their different ambitious of the season.
The host, who are chasing for the title for the first time, would be aiming to bounce back from a 12-6 loss suffered at the hands of Nkwazi while Arrows who had a weekend free after their game against Nchanga was postponed will bank on skipper Israel Kalumba, Simon Kapindu, Mutinta Malambo and Terry Kaushiku to condemn Mufulira.
The last time the two teams met at Yotamu Muleya Rugby Field at the Showgrounds, saw the resilient Mufulira A snatch a point in a 6-6 draw.
In the other fixtures, Green Eagles host Kabwe Health Rugby Club in a Kabwe derby while Lusaka hosts Chibuluma.
Kansanshi and Nchanga play host to Mufulira ‘B’ and Roan respectively while Konkola fresh from the embarrassing 185-0 bashing to Diggers engage Buffaloes, who butchered Kansanshi 52- 15