ZIMBABWE’s Under-13 schools rugby team will play against a Blue Bulls select side in Pretoria on July 8 in preparation for this year’s Coca-Cola Craven Week tournament to be held at Grey College in Bloemfontein, South Africa from July 10-14.
by DANIEL NHAKANISO
Old Mutual Under-13 Junior Sables coach Gordon Pangeti told Sports World in an interview that the friendly match in Pretoria had been arranged by Zimbabwe rugby legend and World Rugby Hall of fame candidate, Kennedy Tsimba, who is now the director of rugby at St Alban’s College.
Pangeti, who like Tsimba also played professional rugby in South Africa, said the high profile friendly match against quality opposition was ideal for their Craven Week preparations.
“We’ve arranged a friendly match with the Blue Bulls select side in Pretoria before our Craven Week camp which we hope will help us fine tune our preparations,” Pangeti said.
“The match was organised with the help of Kennedy Tsimba. We will fly there on a Friday July 7 and play the match the following morning before leaving for Bloemfontein on a Sunday ahead of our first match on Monday July 10,” he said.
The national Under-13 side has been meeting once a week on Sunday since the announcement of the final squad of 22 players and six non-travelling reserves after the two-day trials held at Falcon College last month.
The squad is dominated by St John’s College, who have seven players in the squad and two other young stars on the list of non-travelling reserves.
Falcon College and Heritage both have three players each in the squad and one player apiece among the non-travelling reserves.
Prince Edward had two of their players picked into the squad, while St George’s College, Kyle, Petra, Hillcrest, Lomagundi, Midlands Christian College, Hellenic and Hillcrest have one player each.
Zimbabwe will kick start their Under-13 Coca-Cola Craven Week campaign on July 10 against Border Country Districts in the opening match of the tournament.
“We managed to beat them [Border Country Districts] last year, but we know it won’t be an easy match because they play an expansive game, so we have to be very clever on how we defend and use the ball,” Pangeti said.
“Our next matches will be determined by how we play in the first match. Over the years, we’ve managed to get some good results and we want to continue improving. The main target though would be to beat Namibia after losing to them by a point last year.”
The Old Mutual Under-13 Junior Sables will be hoping for better results this year after managing just one win in their four matches at last year’s tournament held at Paarl Gimnasium High School in the Western Cape.
Old Mutual Junior Sables for Under-13 Craven Week in Bloemfontein, South Africa
Alex Chikamhi, Luke Prichard, Mandisi Ndlovu (all Falcon College), Tanya Chiwara (St George’s College), Tawana Machawi, Munyaradzi Ruredzo, Bradley Gumbo, Connor Grant, Andrew Robinson, Tasimbiswa Kadziyanike, Daniel Rasmus (all St John’s College), Gomes Nyirenda, Tatenda Chara (both PE), Brendan Jameson, Kelton Kaseke, Tadiwa Muvadi (all Heritage), Alex Dandadze (Kyle College), Tanya Takaendesa (MCC), Shingi Manyarara, Chase Smythe (both Hillcrest), Washington Matiyenga (Petra), Tapiwa Gakuchichi (Lomagundi)
Non-travelling reserves: Cullum Davis, Daniel Anderson (both St John’s), Cordy Grant (Falcon College), Jason Peters (St George’s), Tanyaradzwa Chinyaoza (Gateway), Kelvin Kaseke (Heritage)
Coach: Gordon Pangeti
Assistant coach: Derek Chiwara
Team manager: Tanetswa Dinhidza.