Sables bullish

AFTER a disappointing draw against Morocco at home on June 16 in Harare, the Sables will be desperate for a bonus point victory against Kenya at Nairobi’s RFUEA ground on Saturday to resuscitate their chances of qualifying for the Rugby World Cup.

BY GARISH PHIRI

The national senior rugby team flew out to Kenya yesterday morning anticipating nothing but a win. Any other result here, and they could kiss their slim chances of clinching Africa’s sole automatic ticket to the global showpiece, a goodbye.

Zimbabwe are fourth on the six-team standings, on two points, eight behind rivals Namibia who appear to be in total command of the group while Kenya are second with six points.

Morocco are third with three points.

Sables vice-captain Hilton Mudariki said that they were targeting to win all their remaining matches to retain any chances of qualification, starting with the Saturday clash.

To be able to do that, he revealed that his squad has been studying their opponents with the hope of exploiting on their weaknesses.

“We have been preparing for the past two weeks since our game with Morocco; we have studied the video of how Kenya play and we know that this is a do-or-die game. We are going to do our best,” he said.

Sables manager Derrick Chiwara is not lost to the huge task that awaits the team, but he is equally confident of a victory.

“We have put the draw against Morocco behind us and every
thing that we experienced against Morocco was a learning curve. We have prepared adequately, we looked at certain aspects we needed to improve on and that is exactly what we have done in training. We would want our fans to support us. The players believe in themselves, so all we need the fans to be behind us through this entire journey,” he said.

Zimbabwe need a convincing bonus point victory to breathe life into their campaign, and if they can win all their remaining matches, and results elsewhere go in their favour, to top the group, they secure an automatic qualification to the 2019 World Cup in Japan.


The runner-up will have another shot at qualification via the Repechage tournament against teams from other continents.

Kenya are going into the Saturday match on a high following their 28-24 win away to Morocco in Casablanca on their first game of the campaign last weekend.

Their coach Ian Snook, reckons Zimbabwe will give his team a huge challenge, but knows his side has no margin for error.

“Zimbabwe is a very different opponent so we have to adjust a few things in our team that played against Morocco so as to contain the power and strength in Zimbabwe’s way of play,” Snook said.

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