Tollgates, a Run and Rugby

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MARC POZZO

The 2019 Rugby Championship, formerly known as the Tri-Nations, saw the Springboks victorious for the very first time since its inception. The Tri-Nations, comprising New Zealand, Australia and South Africa, was launched in 1996.

In 2012, Argentina were added to the tournament, resulting in a forced name change to the Rugby Championship. The All Blacks have dominated through the years, winning 16 of the 24 tournaments held to date.

With that said and done and just six weeks away from the World Cup , the Springboks dropped a spot to fifth in the World Rugby rankings despite their 46-13 win over Argentina which clinched the Rugby Championship. England moved past the Springboks courtesy of their victory over Wales at Twickenham. Wales had the chance to move to No 1 in the rankings above New Zealand – who lost 47-26 to Australia in Perth – but it was not to be as they succumbed to a 33-19 defeat.

Even though South Africa picked up just over half a rating point for their victory in Salta, the 1.07 points awarded to England was enough for them to trade places with the Springboks and move up to fourth. Wales stay in second place but are just two-tenths of a point ahead of Ireland, who beat Italy 29-10 in Dublin on Saturday. Despite their big win over the All Blacks, the Wallabies were unable to climb the rankings as the two-and-a-half points gained in victory still leaves them in sixth place behind South Africa.

A perfect start for Man Utd!

The new English season got underway on Friday night with the mighty reds demolishing newly promoted Norwich City 4-1 at Anfield . I must say I am really pleased its started again as I was getting bored. So the opening weekend did not have too many surprises although I did think Chelsea would have put up a decent show . Marcus Rashford scored twice as Manchester United made the perfect start to their Premier League season by inflicting a 4-0 defeat on Frank Lampard in his first match in charge of Chelsea on Sunday.

Harry Maguire and Aaron Wan-Bissaka also impressed at the back on their debuts after United spent £130 million on the pair over the summer to shore up a defence that conceded 54 Premier League goals last season. Still United fans don’t get too excited; you are a long way off a Champions League spot this season.

However, questions will be asked of Chelsea’s decision to let experienced defender David Luiz leave to join Arsenal earlier this week as the Blues struggled to contain the United counter-attacks despite dominating long spells.

The holders Man City finished where they left off, with another clinical win against West Ham . Again they will be tough to beat this season. The team that I think that did the best business was Arsenal . They did good business in the close season and got 3 points against Newcastle on the opening day. My outside selection for a top 4 finish. It’s going to be a great season I can feel it already.

Ill-prepared Zinara and the ensuing chaos

Over the long weekend the family and I, with friends ventured as we do at this time every year to the shores of Lake Kariba for the Round Table 23 Kariba half marathon. As always it does not disappoint. Well organized by this group of hard working charity organizers from Round Table 23 and the folk of Kariba town . Over a thousand, 10km and 21km walkers, runners took part .

We travelled up on the Saturday with the race on Sunday and woke to the news, the toll gate prices had increased right at the time people were all planning to travel for the long weekend . No one prepared not even ZINARA it seemed. From reports I was getting from all corners of the country, the toll gates were a nightmare. Anything from one /two hour delays. Drivers taking off into the bush to avoid the new costs which caused chaos and people being impatient in the line and jumping the line to cause even more problems and congestion .

So ZINARA what were you thinking? Firstly putting the toll fees up from $2 to $10. My question is what have you bettered on our roads? Nothing! In fact our roads are in an even poorer state and you all sit in your luxury offices with salaries determined by yourselves and not a bother in the world. How can you increase them that much? But I guess you can do what you like… you are after all ZINARA.

The second issue I have, is doing it on a long weekend and no one prepared for it . Your system could not even issue receipts on Saturday mornings. I even got reports of commuters dropping passengers before the tollgate and then others picking them up on the other side to avoid the huge costs as it would put them out of business . So how do you account for the money paid by poor motorists with no receipts.

I experienced this all first hand and at one toll gate a man in his Prado could not wait and jumped the line . I got out of my car and approached this person who just ignored my threat . There were ZINARA officials watching who just watched and did nothing and let him through like it was the norm.  My respect for you ZINARA is zero, and you should be ashamed of yourselves . As a tourist, this place would be the last place on earth I would visit!