THE Old Mutual Zimbabwe Under-18 side produced a clinical second half performance to comfortably see off the Blue Bulls Country Districts (CD) and maintain their winning run at the 2018 Coca-Cola Academy Week at Paarl Boys High yesterday.
BY DANIEL NHAKANISO IN PAARL, WESTERN CAPE
Old Mutual Zim U-18. . (15) 44
Blue Bulls CD U-18 . . . (12) 19
After a nervy 29-27 win against South Africa Learners with Special Education Needs (LSEN) side on Monday, the Old Mutual Junior Sables were eager to make a statement against a good Blue Bulls CD.
While in the opening match, they managed to just hang on for a crucial win, the Old Mutual Junior Sables were always in control of yesterday’s encounter despite scoring just three tries against two in the first half.
In fact, yesterday the Junior Sables significantly upped the tempo after the break, outscoring the Pretoria outfit by four tries to one for a confidence boosting win ahead of Saturday’s official Test match against fierce rivals Namibia.
Scott Gray’s charges dominated the scrums and breakdown battle, while minimising the errors which set the platform for the backs to terrorise the Bulls defence.
Old Mutual Junior Sables captain Matthew Oworu was named man of the match after leading his charges from the front with a dominant performance which yielded a brace of tries.
The Churchill High School open side flanker was the first to cross the whitewash in the 13th minute before Victor Matarise slotted home the conversion.
Left wing Pride Gadzikwa, who also finished the contest with a brace then dived over for the Junior Sables’ second try in the 25th minute before Blue Bulls Country Districts responded with two tries in a space of four minutes through center Shane Bolton and winger Bronwin Arries to level the scores at 12-12.
A penalty by Matarise just before the buzzer restored the Junior Sables’ lead as Gray’s charges went to the break with a slender 15-12 lead.
Following a see-sawing opening half, the Junior Sables were far more clinical after the break, and it took just six minutes for centre Mufaro Chareka to stretch Zimbabwe’s lead with a try before Gadzikwa completed his brace with another converted try.
Zimbabwe managed two further tries from right wing and Nigel Tinarwo and Owuru before Blue Bulls CD scored a face saving consolation with minutes left on the clock.
Replacement flank David Boore, who was man of the match in the first half, however, ensured the Junior Sables maintained their 25 point lead with a late try to seal a convincing win.