Sables close tour with huge Madagascar win

16 Jun, 2011 - 00:06 0 Views

The Herald

The victorious team is scheduled to arrive home today.
Having capped a fine tour of Uganda with a hammering of Madagascar to gain promotion to the Confederation of African Rugby 1A group, the Sables were last night in a cheerful mood.
Zimbabwe led 17-0 at half time and, by the end of it all, they had powered to their second biggest winning margin inside nine years.
Under the guidance of stand-in coach Cyprian “Supa” Mandenge, who took charge of the side following the withdrawal of Brandon Dawson from camp due to family commitments, the Sables were unstoppable.
Mandenge proved he could handle the Sables who are now set to take on Kenya next week at Bulawayo’s Hartsfield Rugby Grounds.
Yesterday, the Sables were on cloud nine following their win over Madagascar – a team they also beat 28-22 in the Africa Cup qualifier – as the win could see them get into the IRB World Ranking top 40.
And, most important, is the fact that the Sables will next year be playing in the more prestigious 1A Group that features Namibia and Kenya to try and reclaim their place among the rugby giants in Africa.
After a 25-15 win over hosts Uganda, the Sables showed their pedigree with the big win over the Indian Ocean islanders.
Four changes were made to the side that faced Uganda on Sunday and they seem to have paid dividends with flanker Shingi Mpofu justifying his coaches’ decision to include him in the starting line-up. Mpofu and winger Gardner Nechironga were the toast of the Sables as they both scored a brace of tries while Kudakwashe Kambasha, captain Daniel Hondo, lock Fortune Chipendo and Sean Makombe all crossed into the Madagascar in-goal once.
The Malagasy defence simply did not have any answers to the Sables attack who ran in nine tries past them and the score could even have been bigger for Zimbabwe.
Of the nine tries the Sables planted in the Uganda try box, Zimbabwe only managed two conversions through the boot of flyhalf – Tichafara Makwanya.
The first converted try was in the 31st minute when centre Hondo capitalised on a gap in the Madagascar defence, while the second and last came in the 79th minute following a Makomber try.
The other seven were a tale of missed bonus points between Makwanya and Nechironga as they tried to find the target that could have led the Sables above the 50 point mark.
“This is a good result not only for the Sables but for the rest of Zimbabwe because we have managed to win all our games here and gain promotion to Group 1A.
“The work has just begun and we are now looking forward to the game against Kenya next week,” said Sables’ manager Noddy Kanyangarara.
The Sables managed only two tries in the first half through Kambasha and Hondo with one of them converted but they surely picked up the tempo in the second period.
As soon as the second half restart, the Zimbabwe side got a try but it was not until the 53rd minute that the Sables really destroyed the Malagasy.
Tries started coming in on an average of every four minutes.
Zimbabwe squad
Denford Mutamangira, Prayer Chitenderu, Kudakwashe Kambasha, Fortune Chipendu, Costa Dinha, Shingie Mpofu, Njabulo Ndlovu, Norman Mukondiwa, Michael Coleman, Tichafara Makwanya, Lloyd Machanjaire, Daniel Hondo, Cleopas Makotose, Gardner Nechironga, Danny Robertson.
Substitutes: Raymond Dzvairo, Pieter Joubert, Jonathan Goosen, Samson Makuku, Charles Jiji, Dylan Bradshaw, Shayne Makombe.

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