BY DANIEL NHAKANISO
BORDER BULLDOGS……………. (8)8
ZIMBABWE GOSHAWKS……. ..(12)18
IT took 26 years for Zimbabwe to secure a victory against a South African provincial rugby side when they beat Boland Cavaliers in Cape Town last week.
In a big measure of the strides the Zimbabwean outfit has made, their second win took them just a week as they defeated Border Bulldogs at the Sisa Dukashe stadium in Mdantsane, Eastern Cape yesterday to secure their third successive win in the 2022 Currie Cup First Division.
While their last two wins against Kenya (21-20) and Boland (23-22), were nail-bitters yesterday’s victory in the Eastern Cape was a fairly comfortable one as the Goshawks appear to have hit their stride ahead of the Rugby World Cup qualifiers in July.
The Zimbabwe Goshawks took less than 10 minutes to score the match’s opening try when in-form tight-head prop Bornwell Gwinji crashed over the whitewash before skipper Hilton Mudariki added the extras.
Although the Zimbabwean side were in control of the match Border Bulldogs hit back with a try of their own through winger Sakhe Dingile before a penalty briefly gave themselves a slender 8-7 lead.
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Zimbabwe were, however, always in control dominating both territory and possession while their set-piece play was far much better.
Inevitably they retook the lead following a moment of brilliance by fullback Connor Kennedy, who produced a magical inside pass to set up a try by France outside centre Shayne Makombe in his first start of the competition.
Despite Mudariki putting the conversion wide, the Goshawks went to the break with a healthy lead.
While Border put on a much stronger defensive effort in the second half, they hardly threatened to breach the Goshawks’ watertight defence line as play was concentrated in the hosts’ half for long periods.
Not even a late yellow card shown to hardworking lock George Saungweme could give the Bulldogs a reprieve as the Goshawks remained in control.
Two second-half penalties by replacement flyhalf Keith Chiwara in the 63rd and 70th minute meant the Border Bulldogs needed to score twice to prevent the Goshawks from registering their third win on the trot.
In the end, the Goshawks’ power up front was too much for the Border Bulldogs as their forward play disintegrated in the latter part of the match and the Zimbabwean outfit stole too much attacking ball for them to put up a proper fight.
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