Zimbabwe’s Young Sables are through to the final of the Under-19 African Rugby Championships after a 25-17 win today (26 August 2015) over Kenya at St Georges College. Zimbabwe will play rivals Namibia in the final on Saturday (29 August), where the winner qualified to compete in the 2016 Junior World Rugby Championships.
To earn their birth in the Junior World Cup, the Young Sables will need to put up a solid performance against rival Namibians who made an early statement with a convincing 49-12 win over Uganda in an earlier match today.
Prince Edward speedy winger Brian ensured the hosts got off to a dream start with two brilliant tries in the first 10 minutes of the match before replied with a try from eighthman Simon Okoth.
Exciting center Shingi Katsvere had the sizeable home crowd on their feet after cutting through the Kenyan defence before diving under the posts. Flyhalf Joshua Gando added the extras to give the hosts a 17-5 lead inside the first 25 minutes.
After a slow start to the match it was Kenya who went to the break on a high after a try by scrumhalf Charles Kakai to take his team within five points of the hosts at the break (17-12). Tigers’ scrumhlaf Earnest Mudzengerere dived over the whitewash early in the second half, but Kenya refused to give up as they hit back with a try of their own from flyhalf Anthony Adhiambo. Gando slotted home a late penalty to give the hosts an eight point cushion which they held onto until the final whistle.
Young Sables coach Brendon Brider was pleased with his team’s result although he felt there are some areas they still need to work on ahead of the Namibia game: “We came to win for us to play in the final ,and we won, but technically and tactically I wasn’t impressed. We need to seek out the defence, we leaked some very soft tries and we also need to tidy up our setpiece ahead of the Namibia game.”