By Muziwethu Hadebe
@ Hartsfield Rugby Grounds, Bulawayo.
Zimbabwe 30-29 Kenya
Sables captain Hilton Mudariki ran out of words at the post match press conference to describe the performance of his team as Zimbabwe made it three wins in three matches in the 2019 Victoria Cup in this entertaining match watched by a good crowd.
Mudariki who did not run out of his kicking boots, managing three penalties and three conversions later picked his composure and said that he was happy that his team had brought joy to the people of Zimbabwe in what he described as scrappy game.
Kenya who could have won this tie with better kicking started badly allowing a try for Zimbabwe within two minutes of the match as Zimbabwe’s pace allowed Takudzwa Kumadiro to pick the first try of the match which was followed up by the perfect boot of Mudariki for the sables to lead 7-0.
The captain converted a penalty for a 10-0 lead which was short lived after the visitors got their first try on the counter through Munate Akuei, Jacob Ojee however could not convert his kick much to the relief of the Zimbabwe fans.
David Makanda then got Zimbabwe’s second try and again the sables captain converted as the sables led 17-5.
The Simbas had a strong first half finish managing two tries through Omindi Billy and Akuei(in what was his second of the match). Ojee failed to convert for the Billy try but Melvin Thairu converted for the later as Kenya forced the match to be tied at 17-17 at the break.
Kenya picked from where they had left in the first half when Elkeans Musonye used power play to force a try but still their kicking let them down to give Zimbabwe a bit of hope. It was the hope that saw Biselele Tshamala squeeze a try and the boot of Mudariki add 7 points on the board for the hosts.
The Visitors had other ideas getting a try through Johnstone Mungala and a conversion by Anthony Odhambo to lead the match 24-29.
It was then left to the sables captain to convert two penalties in five minutes to secure victory for the sables by the smallest of margins and make it 3 out 3 in this year’s Victoria Cup.
Sables Coach Brandon Dawson refused to be drawn into what has changed in the Zimbabwe team compared to last year. “I can’t talk about last year, we however have lots of youngsters in this team who have the vibe and play for each other, It’s a big relief for me and the victory has taken the weight off my shoulder”, he reacted to the victory.
By Muziwethu Hadebe, Images by Nash Mkokwayarira
@ Hartsfield Rugby Grounds, Bulawayo.
Zimbabwe 28- 58 Namibia
ZIMBABWE’s sables, the national Rugby team forced 4 tries but were still on the losing end to Namibia in this Rugby Africa Gold Cup before a good appreciative crowd.
The four tries ensured that Zimbabwe pick a bonus point which the captain Denford Mutamangira believes might come in handy in their last match away to Uganda as the sables try to avoid relegation from Africa’s elite.
“There is a positive to take from this, the bonus point we picked I am sure will help us to remain in the Gold cup ahead of our clash in Uganda”, said Mutamangira after the match.
Namibia now on four wins from four matches, made their intensions clear with a try in the third minute of the match through Lesley Klim who capitalised on a good line out to break away with good pace through the middle and get the first points on the board for the visitors.
Impressive fly half Cliven Loubser made no mistake a few seconds later with a fine conversion wide on the right as the visitors led 7-0.
The sables gave the good crowd some hope when in a congested Namibia half somehow Connor Pritchard managed to touch the ball over the line for Zimbabwe’s first try and the crowd went mad in celebration. Brendon Mandivenga was accurate with his conversion as the teams were tied at 7-7.
Namibia always superior scored a further two tries through Lill and Greyling which were followed by the impressive boot of Loubser as he converted. Loubser always calm with his kicks also had two penalties converted in this half with Mandivenga missing a kick as the Namibians led 27-7 at the break.
The sables started the second half with lots of promise, yet it was Namibia who had an early try from Connadie with Loubser doing well to convert aftewards once more. They went on to have a further four tries through Jaarsveld, Uanivi, Louis Van Der Wessthuizen(2) and managed two conversions through the impressive Loubser (1) and Stenkemp(1), the pair missed a conversion each in this half.
It was a better second half for Zimababwe with tries from Tafadzwa Chitokwindo, Shayne Makombe and Farai Mdariki. Mandivenga had another conversion while Lenience Tambera weighed in with two.
Zimbabwe coach Peter De Villiers believes they put themselves under pressure at times as they have always done in most matches.
“ It’s a work in progress, it was difficult to talk to the boys at half time but I just had to tell them that they are playing for themselves, the fans and their families are watching, we are building and we have put structures in place that will help us, there will be plenty world cups to come and as long as we prepare well, we will get there, it was good to be in Bulawayo, we love this place and we are definitely going to play more games here”, said De Villiers.
Tries Zimababwe 4-8Namibia
Conversions Zimbabwe 4 -6 Namibia (Loubser 5, Steenkemp 1)
Missed Conversions Zimbabwe 0-2 Namibia (Lousber and Steenkamp)
Penalties Zimbabwe 0-2 Nambia 2(Lousber)
Missed Penalties Zimbabwe 1-0(Mandivenga) Namibia
On Mysports show this week FC Platinum beat Ngezi, we spoke to the two coaches. Bulawayo Chiefs edged a ten men Bosso we spoke to Chiefs analyst. The warriors won the cosafa in South Africa and Tinotenda Kadewere reacts to his man of the match award. Marko Mambo finishes 5th at the comrades plus we have the Netball results.
By Nothando Moyo,
The University of Zimbabwe beat Chinhoyi University 17-12 to lift the ZUSA SEVENS 2018 in sudden death in a tournament that was held at Hartsfield Rugby Grounds last weekend.
The tournament was organised by the Zimbabwe University Sports Association in conjunction with the Zimbabwe Rugby union.
The two teams were tied 12-12 at full time. UZ had a beautiful wing play that saw them out run the entire Chinhoyi University defence line and get a crucial try at the corner and clinch the title.
UZ had beaten MSU 21-7 in the semis, while Chinhoyi University accounted for Harare Institute of Technology 29-7 in the other semi-final.
MSU finished third after beating Harare Institute of Technology 14-12. A total of 11 universities took part including Gwanda University who did well to take part despite losing all of their games without scoring a point.
It’s a tournament that can see more talented University students make it into the national rugby structures as is the case with other nations that have done well in rugby.
The Bulawayo Metro Football Board continued with its promotion of Rugby at grassroots level after hosting the Hartsfield Rugby Festival in Bulawayo over the Easter weekend.
The festival which is meant for the kids to enjoy playing rugby attracted schools from Harare namely Allan Wilson, Goromonzi and Churchill. There was also a team from Botswana as well as local schools that included Milton, Petra, Plumtree, Gifford, Northlea, Nkulumane, Entumbane, St Columbas, St Francis and the Old Mutual select.
The Botswana girls also added a bit of colour to the festival which attracted a sizeable crowd.
With more schools now taking rugby into the sport curriculum including the girls it is the hope of the organisers that a new breed of rugby professionals will emerge to represent the country at the bigger stage in a sport that has struggled to impress the nation except for the Rugby Sevens national team.
The highlight of the festival was the clash between Milton and Churchill which was balanced for most periods of the game but saw the Harare school utilise its chances and emerge as the winners 14-5.
DAY ONE RESULTS