Lions de Fer and Ruhango Zebras Dominate 2024 Rugby Championship

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Lions de Fer retain men’s rugby title with 30-10 win.
Ruhango Zebras dominate women’s final, win 41-11.
Donat Kanyamahanga and Pascaline Uwicyeza named players of season.
Championship winners awarded cash prizes up to Rwf 500,000.

The 2024 15-a-side rugby championship concluded with spectacular performances by Lions de Fer and Ruhango Zebras, who emerged as the champions in the men’s and women’s categories, respectively. The final matches, held at Camp Kigali ground on Sunday, June 16, showcased thrilling encounters and highlighted the growing popularity and competitiveness of rugby in the region.

Lions de Fer: A Legacy of Dominance

Lions de Fer demonstrated their continued dominance in men’s rugby with a decisive 30-10 victory over Resilience RC from Rusizi. This win allowed them to retain the title they also won in 2023, reinforcing their status as the team to beat in Rwandan rugby. The match was a display of strategic brilliance and physical prowess, with Lions de Fer executing their game plan to perfection.

The team’s star player, Donat Kanyamahanga, was pivotal in their success throughout the season and was deservedly named the player of the season. Kanyamahanga’s performance not only led his team to victory but also set a high standard for excellence in the league.

Kigali Sharks Clinch Third Place

In another closely contested match, Kigali Sharks narrowly edged out Gitisi TSS with a 17-13 win to secure third place. The Sharks’ resilience and tactical adaptability were on full display as they managed to hold off a determined Gitisi TSS side. This victory underscored the competitive nature of the league, where even matches for the third spot were fought with great intensity.

Ruhango Zebras: Queens of the Field

The women’s category saw the Ruhango Zebras claim the title in a commanding 41-11 victory over Kamonyi Panthers. The Zebras’ performance was nothing short of spectacular, with their aggressive playstyle and cohesive teamwork leaving the Panthers with little room to maneuver. Pascaline Uwicyeza of Ruhango Zebras shone brightly throughout the season and was honored with the best player award for her consistent and outstanding performances.

Recognizing Excellence: Awards and Prizes

In addition to the championship titles, individual and team performances were recognized with various awards and cash prizes. The men’s champions, Lions de Fer, received Rwf 500,000, while the Ruhango Zebras took home Rwf 300,000 for their victory in the women’s category. The first runners-up in the men’s category were awarded Rwf 300,000, and the second runners-up received Rwf 200,000. The women’s runners-up were also given Rwf 200,000. These awards not only celebrate the achievements of the teams but also motivate them to strive for excellence in future competitions.

The Road to the Finals

The Rugby 15-a-side league, which kicked off in March, adopted a group stage format for the men’s teams and a round-robin format for the women’s teams to determine the finalists. This structure ensured that only the best teams progressed to the finals, making the championship a true test of skill, strategy, and endurance.

The journey to the finals was marked by intense competition and high-caliber rugby, with teams battling it out in every match. The league’s format allowed for a comprehensive assessment of each team’s abilities, ensuring that the finals featured the most deserving contenders.

Notable Moments

Lions de Fer’s 30-10 victory over Resilience RC featured standout player Donat Kanyamahanga, securing the men’s title.
Ruhango Zebras dominated Kamonyi Panthers 41-11, with Pascaline Uwicyeza named the best player in the women’s category.
Kigali Sharks clinched third place with a narrow 17-13 win against Gitisi TSS in a competitive match.

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