By Daniel Nhakaniso in Cape Town
Zimbabwe Academy…………….(3) 15
Eastern Province Elephants..(22) 43
The Zimbabwe Academy ended their SuperSport Rugby Challenge campaign in disappointing fashion following a 43-15 defeat to Eastern Province Elephants at Village Rugby Club in Cape Town yesterday.
Zimbabwe Academy had already been eliminated from the competition after losing their first six matches, but pride was at stake against a strong Eastern Province side which had upstaged the Sharks a week earlier.
In the end it was Eastern Province who outscored Zimbabwe by seven tries to two.
After initially matching their opponents, Zimbabwe Academy never got any momentum in the match, making too many errors both in attack and defence to succumb to
their seventh straight defeat in their maiden appearance in the South African competition.
Eastern Province Elephants set the tone early with the first try in the 10th minute through flyhalf Martin du Toit before Zimbabwe Academy responded through a
penalty from flyhalf Jerry Jaravaza five minutes later.
The hosts further stretched their lead with two quick tries from hooker Mhlali Mpapi and centre Sherwin Slater as Zimbabwe were guilty of unforced errors while
going forward and missed tackles in defence.
Eastern Province again capitalised on Zimbawe’s errors, running in the fourth try of the match just before the break, which was converted by flyhalf Du Toit.
After going to the break trailing 22-3, the Young Bucks needed to get the second half off to a good start, but were immediately on the back foot as some sloppy
tackling allowed left wing Riaan Andrese to run in the hosts’ fifth try of the match.
Zimbabwe finally got their first try of the match with 23 minutes left on the clock through left wing Sam Phiri but Eastern Province were always in control
with number eight Peter de Wit and wing Athenkosi Mahinje adding two quick tries at the other end.
Fullback Kuda Chiwanza ran in the consolation try, which was converted by scrumhalf Kuzivakwashe Kazembe just before the hooter, but Eastern Province had
already secured a convincing win.