The Zimbabwe Under-19 rugby coach Brighton Chivandire said he was expecting a tough encounter against Tunisia in their second match of the CAR Under-19 tournament at Prince Edward School today.
The match kicks off at 1400hrs at the Jubilee Field and will be the first match before the Pool B match between Morocco and Zambia at 1530hrs.
The Young Sables, who are the defending champions of the continental showpiece, would be aiming to continue with their winning run after they won their first match 16-8 against the Ugandans over the weekend.
However, they come up against a competitive side in the North Africans who narrowly lost 9-8 to the Namibians in their opening match.
“Like every game we will play in this tournament. This will be yet another tough encounter and it’s going to be important for us to do well. Yes, we saw their game against Namibia and they are a well-structured side, but we have worked hard since the game against Uganda on Saturday. We are ready for the Tunisians and hopefully we will put up an improved performance than we had in the first game,” said Chivandire in an interview with NewsDay Sport yesterday.
Having won the last two editions of this tournament, the Young Sables are under pressure to do well on home soil while the Tunisians showed why they should be taken seriously with their disciplined performance in their first match.
The Tunisians have a very mobile backline that makes up for the small size of their forwards and their play is centred on their good awareness in defence and discipline.
However, Zimbabwe need to utilise their superiority in the forward pack to their advantage and make sure they dominate the set plays from the line-outs to the scrumages — which means the forwards will have to play a prominent role.
The Young Sables also need to step up in midfield, where they made some uncharacteristic ball handling errors in the first match.
In the kicking department, skipper Sean Linfield and Jamie Forrester also need a better performance to make sure the team maximises all scoring opportunities they can get.
Although the starting line-up was set to be released late yesterday the technical team was expected to name an unchanged side for today’s game.
Zimbabwe, Uganda, Tunisia and Namibia, are fighting for the right to represent Africa at the 2012 Junior World Rugby Trophy while the other four countries — Kenya, Madagascar, Zambia and Morocco — compete in the second tier for promotion to next year’s CAR top division.
Zimbabwe U-19 Squad
Backs: J Forrester, M Nel, J Coles, D Zimbudzana, M Muhambi, R Morkel, P Bryant, L Tambwera, S Linfield, M McIntosh, R Sargeant
Forwards: M Bryce-Rodgers, D Sibanda, J Smallbones, K Makuvire, T Ndaba, M Mandioma, G Logan, M Sinclair, T Chigumbira, D Rorke, F Jijita, T Tsomondo.