The Zimbabwe U19 Rugby team recently beat defending champions Namibia 39-7 in the final played at the Rugby Football Union of East Africa yesterday, to become the new Africa Rugby Confederation Under-19 champions.
The Zimbabwean coach Byron Chivandire said, “They are a very good team (Namibia). We were under no illusion about what they were capable of doing had they got the rhythm. Our plan was to shut them down and leave them with no option to run the ball, run in phases and eventually spread the ball wide.”
Zimbabwen full-back Danny Robertson was also named as the most valuable player of the one-week tournament.
Chivandire urged the organisers to consider revising the format. “Teams need more time to play each other especially at this age. We played only three games and would have loved to play against the other teams for exposure,” he said.
Zimbabwean player, Brendan Chapman said “This was a sweet revenge, for Last years lost to Namibai. We expected it to be a close game and had planned to defend in every department, lock up their forwards and play in the space. Namibia did not give up but exerted pressure upto the last minute. I think they were shocked after we led 17-0. It was also unlucky that their kicker Johan Deysel who had been very accurate in the past matches was not on form today.”
The match was played at a high pace and Zimbabwe barely gave Namibia a chance to settle. Chapman opened the scores in the eighth minute and Farai Mupasiri converted. Zimbabwean lock Schalk Ferreira was yellow-carded by Tunisian referee Bahroun Heykel in the 10th minute but Namibia could not make the numerical advantage count.
Mupasiri who was in a fine kicking form drilled over a drop goal in the 22nd minute to stretch the lead 10-0. Tafadzwa Chitokwindo then scored Zimbabwe’s second try in the 32nd minute and Mupasiri converted for the half time score of 17-0.
In the second half, Namibia were quick off the starting blocks and took only three minutes to make their presence felt when substitute winger Chase Dirgaard broke through to score. A change of kickers saw fly-half Zirk Coetzee slot the conversion from a difficult angle.
It was another seven minutes before Zimbabwe exploded into action and Terrence Kuvarega went over from a good run by the backs. Mupasiri who was in a fine kicking form slotted the conversion.
Schalk Ferreira who had been yellow-carded in the first half then showed surprising speed sprinting past the Namibian backs to score near the post. When Namibian eighth-man Royal Otto was sin binned in the 14th minute of the second half, Mupasiri was on the spot kicking over another penalty to stretch the lead 32-7. Chitokwindo then completed his brace in the 70th minute and Mupasiri converted.
Namibia 7 Zimbabwe 39 (Half-time: 0-17)
Namibia: Tries: Chase Diergaard; Conversion: Zirk Coetzee.
Zimbabwe: Tries: Brendan Chapman, Tafadzwa Chitokwindo (2), Terrence Kuvarega, Schalk Ferreira; Penalties: Farai Mupasiri; Drop goal: Farai Mupasiri; Conversions: Farai Mupasiri (4).
Namibia: 15 Johannes Tromp, 14 Richard Ockhuizen, 13 Ashwin Walters (22), 12 Johan Deysel, 11 Russel Van Wyk (21), 10 Zirk Coetzee, 9 Pieter Jansen (20), 8 Royal Otto, 7 Waldo Schaefer (captain), 6 Jaco Wiese, 5 Arne De Klerk, 4 Munee Tjiueza (19), 3 Henk Roets (17), 2 Daniel Van Vuuren (16), 1 Grant Kurz (18); Replacements: 16 Karel Van Heerden, 16 Franklin Bertolini, 18 Gert Henning, 19 Jacob Mare, 20 Pandeni Ueitele, 21 Chase Diergaard, 22 Gift Kamundu.
Zimbabwe: 15 Danny Roberts, 14 Tafadzwa Chitokwindo, 13 Mathew Swales, 12 Johnathan McWade (22), 11 Terrence Kuvarega, 10 Farai Mupasiri, 9 Graham Kaulback (20), 8 Biselele Tshamala, 6 Brendan Chapman (captain), 5 Sasha Halloway, 4 Schalk Ferreira, 3 Richard Sainsbury (18), 2 Tatenda Karuru, 1 Simba Msarurwa (16); Replacements: 16 Tapiwa Rabwi, 17 Brian Makamure, 18 Dimitri Zaverdinos, 19 David Watson, 20 Charles Jiji, 21 Lungile Tshuma, 22 Daniel Turner.
Schalk Ferreira (Zimbabwe)
Royal Otto (Namibia)