The Old Mutual U13 Young Sables completed their best ever Craven Week campaign yesterday with a 24-24 draw against rivals Namibia on Friday morning at Kings Park 2 in Durban.
Eighth-man, Nataizya Chininga who was nothing but outstanding for the Old Mutual Young Sables, scored twice. His second try scored only seven minutes before stoppage time helped Zimbabwe secure a draw. The draw rounded off one of Zimbabwe Rugby’s best tours ever with the U13 side. Two wins, one draw and one loss.
The Back Story.
In 2010 the U13 side finished 15 out of 18 teams, managing to win just a game out of their four fixtures. The next year, 2011, saw a bit of improvement as the lads registered two wins and two losses, walloping Namibia 39-5 in the process but still finished in 11th place.
2012 was the year of doom for the U13 string. They lost all their games, only scoring one try throughout the whole week and as such anchored the log table finishing in 18th place. Last year was no better as the U13’s lost all games and finished 18 again.
We Told You So!
Come 2014 and Old Mutual joins the party with kit and travel sponsorship. National selection takes place and the selectors get lots of flack for choosing a bad team, one that will finish 18th again. They leave for Durban and lose their opening game against Griquas and despite showing a fair amount of moments of brilliance, everyone chants, “We told you so!”
Something To Celebrate.
The Old Mutual U13 Young Sables go on and register two consecutive wins against Griffons and Border Country Districts before posting a 24-24 draw against Namibia in tightly contested match.
Prince Edward’s Chininga scored the most tries – 6 – during the week but finished third on the individual points log with 30 points. The two above him had their boots helping them to amass points. The Old Mutual U13 Young Sables finished sixth on the log, their highest ranking ever at the tournament. Zimbabwe was tied with Boland and Golden Lions who finished fifth and fourth respectively.
Lance Annandale from St John’s will go down as one of the most successful captains at the U13 level with the sixth place finish and his team is definitely one to watch in years to come. Well done skipper.
See the complete Old Mutual U13 Young Sables team roster here.
Craven Week coverage brought to you by Old Mutual