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Young Sables fall to determined Namibia

Zimbabwe U/19 . . . (6) 23
Namibia U/19 . . . . . (27) 44

Report by  Daniel Nhakaniso
ZIMBABWE Under-19 team’s three-year dominance over Namibia came to a screeching halt after losing 44-23 in the CAR Under-19 African Championship final at Prince Edward School yesterday.

With the win, Namibians deservedly booked the continent’s sole ticket to next year’s IRB Junior World Rugby Trophy in Chile.

The error-prone Young Sables failed to learn from past mistakes and were punished by a well-drilled Namibian side which outscored the hosts by six tries to three.

Namibia meant business from the word go as Ethan Beukes charged down to score a converted try in the left corner to open the visitors’ account in the first minute.

With the shell-shocked Zimbabweans clearly on the back foot, Beukes’ brother Deslee kept the scoreboard ticking with a drop goal and a penalty before wing Donavan Kandji ran in another try to finish off a flowing move.

The physically stronger Namibian forwards were easily surging over the advantage line and coming out tops during broken play and managing to suck in the hosts’ defence.

With the scrumhalf taking too long to release the ball from the scrum, Zimbabwe’s mobile backline were rendered ineffective and their only points in the disappointing opening half came from the boot of flyhalf Luke Masasire.

The Brighton Chivandire coached-side gave a better performance in the second half but their tackling left a lot to be desired as the Namibian skipper Gert Lotter charged over the whitewash to give his side a 32-6 lead.

The introduction of Kumadiro swayed the momentum in Zimbabwe’s favour as he scored two tries before setting up Mashawi.

However, it was Namibia who finished strongly with further tries from eighthman Wiam Conradie and flank Denis Jacob.

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