BY SPORTS REPORTER
THE Sables finally ended a seven-year trophy drought after clinching the 2019 Victoria Cup with a game to spare following a convincing 41-5 victory over Zambia in the penultimate match of the competition at the Lusaka Showgrounds yesterday.
Zimbabwe outscored the Zambians by seven tries to one as they cruised to their fifth straight win in the four-nation rugby tournament ahead of their final match against Kenya in Nakuru next Saturday.
Gifted tighthead prop Cleopas Kundiona Jr, who was playing in his first Test for the Sables this year, led the onslaught with two tries to add to further tries by captain Hilton Mudariki, wing Takudzwa Kumadiro, flyhalf Dudlee White-Sharpley, fullback Martin Mangongo and flank Blithe Mavesere.
The trio of White-Sharpley, Mudariki and Jeremiah Jaravaza also chipped in with a conversion each.
Victory gives Sables head coach Brendan Dawson, who is in his second stint as national coach, his third trophy, following
successes in the 2011 Victoria Cup and the 2012 Africa Cup.
The Sables started their campaign with a 39-10 home win over Zambia and followed with an away win over Uganda in Kampala
and a close 31-29 victory against Kenya at Hartsfield in Bulawayo.
Dawson’s men completed a double over the Ugandans with a 33-26 home win last month, which put them on the cusp of the
Victoria Cup title.
Despite lifting the trophy with a match to spare, the Sables will still be eager to wrap up the tournament on a high by
beating Kenya in their backyard.