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Under-19 rugby coach to deal with defence

ZIMBABWE Under-19 coach Nsikelelo Sibanda said he will place much emphasis in working on his team’s defence frailties which were exposed in Friday’s game against the visiting Barbarians Independent Schools at Harare Sports Club.

BY ALBERT MARUFU

The Young Sables narrowly lost 13-17 to the visiting British Barbarians Independent Schools and used the match as part of their preparations for this year’s Junior Africa Cup to be held in Namibia.

The Junior Africa Cup, which the “Young Sables” have won in the past, also serves as the qualifier for the Junior World Rugby Trophy.

Unlike last year where the “Young Sables” did not have preparatory matches, Sibanda got a chance to see his side in action before a tournament.

“We have to concentrate more on practicing our defence and conditioning. We had done very well throughout the match, but just made a couple of mistakes and lost the match. I feel that we have a strong side considering that some of the guys did not play in this match, I think we have a strong side. This being our first pre-season game, I think we played very well,” he said.

Last year an ill prepared Zimbabwe finished third behind eventual winners Namibia and second placed Kenya to survive relegation to Group B.

However, Alex Laybourne, coach of the “Lambs” as the Barbarians are fondly refereed to, believes the Young Sables side is a strong team.

This is despite his side winning all their four games against Mbare Academy 76-0, Prince Edward 26-6 and Goshawks 81- 15.

“We expected a good game from Zimbabwe and that is what we got.
Zimbabwe played very well and this shows that the rugby is good in this country. The future of the sport looks bright,” he said.

On their previous visit to Zimbabwe in 2011, the Lambs won three of their four games, but have done better this year winning all the four games.

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