The monotony in the ladies’ rugby league has become somewhat baffling. Since the formation of FS Raiders RFC in 2020, the club has been so dominant that they bulldoze past their opponents mostly with disrespectful score lines.
When watching women’s rugby matches involving FS Raiders, fans will be patting and scratching each other asking when last FS Raiders conceded a try.
For perennial rugby playing clubs like Old Georgians, Old Hararians, Harare Sports Club and Police Defenders there has to be serious questions posed on their competitiveness.
For Old Georgians to be smashed 115 – 0 in a supposed league final just proves that the quality of ladies’ rugby is flawed.
It was not only Old Georgians who suffered heavy defeats at the hand of FS Raiders. Raiders also dismissed Police Defenders 73 – 0 and Pitbulls 76 – 0 in the league before thrashing the former 43 – 0 in the Semi-Finals.
It has to be noted that some of the matches had to halt before the end to reduce the harm that would have been inflicted.
Zimbuzz Sports caught up with Raiders’ Chairman and founder, Saviours Ngundu who gave a supposed template they have been using that has kept them as serial winners.
Ngundu said, “Clubs should have U-16, U-18 and U-20 structures.”
He also said that there have to be changes in the women’s rugby environment as well as the need for coach development.
“More coaching clinics for coaches and workshops. Women’s Rugby has become toxic, players bring down each other so easily because of personal interests we should enjoy the game but many players are leaving because the environment is unfriendly,” he said.
Ngundu added that rugby has to be introduced in schools and gave a prescription of what they are doing as a club.
“We need more coaches in women’s rugby. Coaches must be attached to schools and clubs must work with schools to recruit from there.
“At Raiders we are developing our coaches. They have to coach tag so that they help the girls to acquire skills useful in the transformation from tag rugby to contact rugby,” Ngundu said.
Former Lady Cheetahs player Tiffany Majero said that coaches are there but questioned their interest in coaching ladies who she referred to as “rude and entitled.”
She said, “I don’t think that there aren’t enough Coaches. I believe the coaches are there, but they aren’t interested in coaching women (this is something that needs to be investigated). It is my opinion that they aren’t interested because the players aren’t professional, they don’t listen to coaches, they are rude and entitled.”
Majero also said that ladies’ rugby is characterised by a “ghetto” phenomenon which bars sponsorships from coming.
“You can call me classist, but Chigetto chakawandisa kumaLadies. From players all the way up to the Technical team. And this dynamic affects the amount of sponsorship we can attract,” she added.
“No sponsorship means no money, which means coaches can’t get paid, so why would they want to volunteer to coach and then deal with all the drama that comes with it?”
She, however, alluded to what Ngundu said about the environment being toxic.
“The environment is very toxic. That’s why I left the National team set-up. Our talent is taken advantage of and exploited. There are people in the set-up who run things like women’s rugby belongs to them as a result they believe that they can do whatever they want, however they want, even if what they are doing is abusive,” said Majero.
There have been rumours doing rounds that some players feel like their dreams of representing the nation become almost a reality by joining FS Raiders.
With all these said troubles in women’s rugby, it will be impossible to think for a second that FS Raiders is perfect.
If all players run to the club, then what is attractive about the club? Is it the national team coach? Is it that the club is organised?
Whatever the case is, the dominance of FS Raiders either proves that they are a super club or that something is wrong in women’s rugby. It is only left to those who care to prove which of the two is right.