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Double centurion Shingai Chiwanga is hailed for loyal service to Shelford Rugby Club



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Shingai Chiwanga in action for Shelford in their win over Norwich. Picture: Mike Harris (54745817)
Shingai Chiwanga in action for Shelford in their win over Norwich. Picture: Mike Harris (54745817)

Will Cotterill heaped praise on Shingai Chiwanga on making a momentous personal milestone for Shelford Rugby Club.

The utility back made his 200th appearance for the club last Saturday, in their 64-0 win over Norwich.

There was a crowning glory for the first-team captain as he grabbed the penultimate try of the match, and was also involved in the awarding of two penalty tries to Shelford, one for a deliberate forward knock-on as Mike Gillick tried to put in the winger and another for a high tackle.

“I think it’s amazing,” said director of rugby Cotterill.

“He has been at the club since 2009 so that is 13 seasons, and is a great club man, loyal to the club through and through. It was really pleasing to see him run out, but even more pleasing for the boys to rise to the occasion to produce some fantastic rugby.

“Shingai has been here since he was a young man and is a very good rugby player. I’m sure he will have got approaches from other clubs, but he has stayed a Peacock through and through, and for me he epitomises the core values of the club.

“He is just so proud of not only what the first XV are achieving at the moment, but of what the whole club is achieving. He made that point in his speech, that it is great to see the women having two teams, the girls rugby growing and all the mini and youth thriving.

“He is really proud of the whole club and what it’s achieving, and I think he is the figurehead of that at the top in the first XV at the moment.”

Shingai Chiwanga in action for Shelford in their win over Norwich. Picture: Mike Harris (54745815)
Shingai Chiwanga in action for Shelford in their win over Norwich. Picture: Mike Harris (54745815)

Playing into the wind in the first half, Shelford were only 12 points to the good at the break, but they kicked on during the second period.

As well as Chiwanga’s try and the two penalty tries, there were also two touchdowns for Charlie Baker and one each for Michael Dunnett, James Gould, Matt Gregerson, Ollie Emsley and Dave Hill. Lewis Cracknell landed five conversions.

“The first half we went into the wind and it was difficult for us to play the rugby that we wanted to play because we were spending most of our time stuck in our own half,” said Cotterill.

“Norwich were playing some good rugby and their forwards were running really hard through the middle, and their defence was rock solid.

“We were up against but we felt confident that with the wind behind us we would be able to play a little bit more rugby.

“It kicked off in the second half as we scored 52 points.”

He added: “It was a case of get the win, get the bonus point but let’s put on a big show for Shingai – that’s what we really wanted, let’s try to be at our best to celebrate with Shingai, it had special meaning.”

Shelford are second in London League 1N and travel to Belsize Park on Saturday (February 12).



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