The Old Mutual U17 Young Sables ground out an 11-10 victory on Tuesday afternoon against Griquas Country Districts at the on-going Grant Khomo Week in Pretoria.
The Young Sables were 8-0 up at halftime but had to hold on tight in the second half as Griquas CD scored a converted try in the opening moments of the second half. Centre Benjamin Meridith, had a below average day off the kicking tee but he did well enough to secure Zimbabwe’s win.
Meridith had a chance to put Zimbabwe on the board as early as the fourth minute from a penalty but he pulled it wide. A minute later, he had another chance and this time he struck it well to get Zimbabwe’s first points. Adriaan Kok scored Zim’s sole try in the 19th minute and once again Meridith could not make the kick to extend the lead.
Four minutes after the missed conversion Meredith went for posts off another penalty and missed again. For a lad playing age group rugby, it must have taken a lot of courage and self-belief to keep going for posts on such a day. Meridith did just that: he kept going for posts and his fifth kick was true, bringing Zimbabwe up to 11-7.
Griquas CD, scrum-half, Kylan Griqua added three points for his team to make it a nervy ending as the board read: Griquas CD 10-11 Zimbabwe, for the last nine minutes of the clash. Under the resulting pressure the Old Mutual U17 Young Sables made mistakes and gave away penalties and Kylan decided to have a go at the posts from one of them but he didn’t make the kick.
Zimbabwe had to put their bodies on the line to hold on for the win and that they did, posting a deserved 11-10 victory. The win makes it two out of two for the Old Mutual U17 Young Sables. On Monday they won 15-13 against Griquas (not to be confused with Griquas Country Districts).
All teams will rest on Wednesday before the last round of games set to be played on Thursday. Zimbabwe will clash with Namibia in a junior test match at 8:00am in one of the first three matches of the day.
Craven Week coverage brought to you by Old Mutual