Zimbabwe U-19 . . . . . . . . (5) 34
Tunisia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0
Blindside flanker Farai Jijita ran in a hat-trick of tries in the second half as the Zimbabwe Under-19 ripped apart a drained-looking Tunisia side 34-0 in their second match at the Confederation of Arican Rugby Under-19 Championships at Prince Edward’s Jubilee Field yesterday.
Centre Preston Bryant crossed the whitewash twice for a brace while electric centre Maclean Muhambi, who was yesterday deployed at winger, opened
the scoring with the lone try in the first half.
Zimbabwe, who got off their campaign with an 18-6 win over Uganda last Saturday, now just need to beat bitter rivals Namibia in their last match on Saturday to book their place at next year’s International Rugby Board Junior World Rugby Trophy.
The heavily-built Tunisians, who on Saturday gave the Namibians a run for their money, were simply no match for the supercharged Young Sables who put up an impressive second-half display characterised by impressive runs from their backline.
The Tunisians dominated the early confrontations as the Young Sables almost played into the hands of the North Africans who had a bigger pack by building their attacks from the forwards.
However, Zimbabwe still managed to go ahead after 12 minutes when the speedy Muhambi side-stepped two Tunisians before diving for the corner flag.
The Tunisians, who were dominating the line-outs and the scrummages almost replied after 24 minutes when their gangly centre Ben Abderrham was held up as he attempted to crash over to draw level.
Winger Justin Coles blew an opportunity to put the Young Sables further ahead when he failed to hold on to a pass by Sean Linfield as the Young Sables went for the oranges with a slender 5-0 lead.
The half-time pep talk seemed to do the trick as Zimbabwe came from the breather firing from all cylinders and it took just two minutes before, put down the second try under the posts.
Fullback Jamie Forester slotted home the conversion to give Zimbabwe a 12-0 lead.
Flanker Jijita who was giving the Young Sables width by joining the backline whenever Zimbabwe were on the offensive then touched down two tries in a space of two minutes in the 49th and 50th minute with Forester managing to convert one of the tries.
There was no respite for the now visibly overrun Tunisians as Preston skirted home to complete his brace in the 71st minute, after Zimbabwe exposed the visitors’ backline defence before Jijita completed his hat-trick on the stroke of full time.
Meanwhile Namibia will be out to remain in contention in the tournament when they play Uganda in their second match at the same venue today.
In their first match Namibia sneaked past Tunisia 8-8 in a low-scoring match.