Zimbabwe Under-18 . . . (5) 25
Namibia . . . (19) 38
DANIEL NHAKANISO IN MIDDELBURG, SOUTH AFRICA
ZIMBABWE’S Under-18 rugby team suffered their third consecutive loss at the Under-18 Coca Cola Craven Week after going down to Namibia in their last match of the week-long tournament at Middelburg High School yesterday.
After two defeats earlier this week it was yet another case of what could have been as the Old Mutual Young Sables came short after another unconvincing display characterised by too many unforced errors.
Zimbabwe were outscored by six tries with their tries coming from centre Mathew Ushewokunze, flank Brian Mutanga, eighthman Stephen Nyamugama and prop Justin Mendelsohn while Shaun Snyder and Campbell chipped in with a conversion and a penalty.
Namibia hooker Jandre van Wyk and centre Divan Rossouw ran in two tries apiece with further tries coming from Hans Breedt and Herle Otto while flyhalf Pieter Steenkamp and fullback Stiaan van der Merwe managing two conversions each.
Namibia, who led by 19 points to five at the break dominated the match right from the onset with their forwards dominating the breakdowns as Zimbabwe struggled to stamp their authority on the match.
It took only five minutes for the Namibians to open their account through Adriaan Booysen before hooker Jandre van Wyk crashed over for the second try six minutes later.
Ushewokunze reduced the deficit after finishing off a clever grabber kick from wing Tarisai Mapfumo.
A try from Mutanga soon after the restart saw Zimbabwe coming within touching distance of the Namibians but Namibia hit back with a try of their won immediately afterwards.
With speedster Tawanda Ngosi being substituted just before halftime and his replacement Brian Mhuriyengwe suffering an ankle injury Zimbabwe were severely handicapped out wide.
With the forwards taking over most of the responsibilities later in the match Nyamugama and Mendelsohn gave Zimbabwe some hope of an unlikely comeback but with two late tries Namibia were always in control of the matches.
they capitalised on lapses in concentration by the Zimbabweans.
A penalty by Snyder took Zimbabwe within six points of Namibia but Van Wyk’s late try extinguished any hopes of what would have been Zimbabwe’s first win over Namibia since 2010.