Zimbabwe rugby brought back to life with excellent international action

The capital city was abuzz with sporting action today, the pick of the action was at the Old Machinery stadium. Zimbabwe’s finest boys, ladies, and men donned the green and white to face Zambian opposition.

The Zimbabwe U20 side thrashed Zambia’s U20s 48-8 in a lopsided affair. This is a confidence booster for the young Sables as they look forward to upcoming matches.

The Zimbabwe Women’s Sables, were no match for their Zambian counterparts as they fell to a 22-31 loss. The Zambian ladies led by their skipper and flyhalf to put a dominant display and open a gap Zimbabwe failed to close, even when things went their way.

Zimbabwe Sables (24) 31

Zambia (0) 8

Zimbabwe who are ranked number 35 in the world and hopeful to qualify for the 2023 World Cup would have welcomed any kind of action to get rid of the rust. The Sables will need to win the Rugby Africa Cup that concludes next year to have a spot in Pool A at the World Cup. A pool that features New Zealand, Italy, France, Americas 1, and hopefully the Sables.

Match break down:

0-10min Zambia started the match with intensity and it forced the Sables into some sloppy play.

11-20min TRY Brandon Mudzekenyedzi dotted down in the left corner. Good build-up play from the Sables, with the skipper Mudariki setting the tempo well. It was a physical spell from both sides in which the Sables had much of the ball and applied pressure on Zambia.

21-30min TRY Aiden Burnett. The Sables scored of a good line out ball and maul move, credit to the referee for allowing play to continue. TRY Doug Juszczyk. The try was a pay off from the impressive pressure kicking and speed with which Mudariki was swinging the ball from the ruck forcing Zambia back.

31-40min TRY Tonderai Chiwambatsa got in on the action from a rolling maul move that quickly turned into a one-man burst to dot down untouched. Zambia had no answers for the Sables forwards as they were fighting for everything on the pitch which worked to their advantage.

41-50min The Sables backs were looking to impact the game after a half in which they were nearly nonexistent.

51-60min TRY Doug Juszczyk with an pick and score after an excellent gashing run by Takudzwa Chieza. The Sables were playing a patient and assured game.

61-70min Zambia upped their competitive edge and this kept Zimbabwe at bay even though they had the majority of the possession.

71-80min TRY Kalumba after an impressive break from Zambia. The match ended with Zambia being the most competitive of the two sides and managing an easy penalty kick.

Main takeaways

For a side that hasn’t been competitive for some time The Sable’s fitness levels were commendable.

The Sables dominated both halves.

The mistakes from both sides will surely minimize with more game time under their belt.

Coach Dawson would not be pleased that his side lost the second half 7-8 although they were dominant.

Philani Mukwakwami

FOUNDER

Sports are a hobby horse of mine, what happens in-between the lines is just as thrilling as what happens outside of them.