Zimbabwe Sables on a roll

Zimbabwe Sables on a roll
Published: 25 August 2019 (95 Views)
Zimbabwe  32 - 26 Uganda
IT'S all looking rosy for Zimbabwe as the Sables continued to edge closer to success after making it four out of four wins with a hard fought Victoria Cup rugby triumph over Uganda yesterday.

The Sables might not have played their best rugby but Brandon Dawson's youthful side appears to be quickly mastering the art of producing good results.

On a fine day for Zimbabwean sport, the country's representatives in the CAF Champions League and Confederation Cup – FC Platinum and Triangle – also progressed to the first round after seeing off the Nyasa Big Bullets of Malawi and Burundi's Rukinzo.

FC Platinum advanced 3-2 on aggregate following a 0-0 draw in Blantyre while Triangle, who had taken a healthy 5-0 first leg lead at home, held Rukinzo 0-0 in Bujumbura.

But the Sables edged closer to continental success after adding another win to their fine revival story to complete a double over the Cranes.

Zimbabwe beat Uganda in Kampala in their second Victoria Cup assignment.

Yet the Sables might still be far away from perfection and continue to ride on luck when they are not at their best.

That was the story again yesterday as the Sables dispatched the Cranes at Harare Sports Club's Machinery Exchange ground.

Tries from Blithe Mavesere, Keith Murray, Matthew Mandioma and Godfrey Muzanargwo were the deciding factors in this tense encounter, while Hilton Mudariki and Dudley-White Sharpley chipped in with two conversions and two penalties.

Uganda got their points from the boot of Philip Wokorach, who sent in four penalties and two conversions, while Brian Asaba and Michael Wokorach had a try each.

Yesterday's win also means that Dawson, who took over from Peter De Villiers, maintains his perfect record in this tournament.

Uganda coach Robert Seguwu was not amused with some of the decisions made by referee Precious Pezani.

After the match, Seguwu was left in tears and refused to accept the outcome.

"My team outperformed Zimbabwe. In my mind, we won the game.

"The score is not a true reflection of the game, and I am not happy with the way the game was handled," said Seguwu.

But probably this was Zimbabwe's most unconvincing win in this tournament.

The Sables continue to be their own worst enemies, particularly when it comes to their failure to grasp rugby basics such as ball handling.  The team also lacks the killer instinct. More often than not, they find it difficult to finish off games and allow their opponents to come at them at the death.

Dawson looks like he will continue his search for his number 10 position, with Sharpe following in the footsteps of the likes of Brendan Mandivenga and Kuziwakwashe Kazembe.

At times, the highly rated fly-half found the going tough in the match against Uganda.

His kicking was hardly tested yesterday. He would be wise to learn a thing or two from his opposite number, Philip Wokorach.

Dawson is also under no illusion. While he came out to defend his charges, he also pointed out that they are work in progress.

"Obviously I am happy that we managed to win, but it wasn't the most gracious of wins," said the seasoned gaffer.

"A lot of strange decisions were made out there, with the game swinging back and forth. I'm just glad that we managed to get the points.

"There is still a lot of work to be done, especially pertaining to killing off the game. We need to protect our ball more and maintain momentum for the full 80 minutes.

"We are still rebuilding, bringing in new players here and there, but I am happy with the way the boys have responded,'' he said.

- zimpapers

Tags: sables, zimbabwe, rugby,
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