Takudzwa Chitsiga Sports Reporter
Zimbabwe . . . . . . (17) 25
Kenya . . . . . . . . . . . (5) 17
HOSTS Zimbabwe shrugged off a strong second half challenge by Kenya to burst into the final of the Under-19 Rugby Africa Cup Group 1A tournament at St George’s College yesterday.
After putting themselves in the driving seat in the first half, the Young Sables had to endure some nervous moments in the second period but still hung on to set up a date in the final against bitter rivals Namibia at the same venue on Saturday.
Namibia thumped Uganda 49-12 in an earlier match at the same venue.
The focus was however, always on the Young Sables and the hosts soon took the lead with Brian Matoramusha touching down after just five minutes.
Matoramusha was outstanding throughout the match, scoring two first half tries that put his team in the lead.
After Matoramusha’s two tries, the Kenyans had their first touchdown through Tysos Okoth.
After the resumption scrumhalf Ernest Mudzengere also registered his name on the Young Sables score sheet when he scored a try while Mathew Ushewokunze also chipped in with a 56th minute try as Zimbabwe lived up to expectations and won the game. Zimbabwe coach Brendon Brider said they still have some areas they need to address before their final match against Namibia who have dominated both the Sables and Young Sables.
“We are happy with the result and reaching the finals is good for us and we now look forward to the Saturday game.
“We need to sort our defence after watching the Namibia game they are strong. I was disappointed by some tactics but we will look at it,” Brider said.
Kenya assistant coach Mike Aung conceded defeat.
“I am happy with the youngsters they have a passion of the game and they went down fighting we are now focusing on the third place playoff.
“It will be an East African contest and I look forward to a tough match. We have managed to beat Zimbabwe but they were tight in the opening match and they managed to maintain.
“They were under pressure to perform at home and the support was there,” said Aung. In the earlier match Namibia proved too strong for Uganda grabbing four tries in the opening half before they added three more in the second period.
The winner of the tournament will qualify for the next edition of the Junior World Rugby Under-20 Trophy competition.