Young Sables miss out on World Rugby U20

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport - Mehluli Sibanda Se­nior Sports Re­porter

THE Young Sables have missed out on next year’s World Rugby Un­der-20 Tro­phy af­ter los­ing 29-42 to Namibia in the fi­nal of the African qual­i­fier in Wind­hoek on Satur­day.

Zim­babwe, led by wing Sam Phiri, had ear­lier come from 0-14 down to go into the break lead­ing 17-14.

Coach Farai Ma­hari’s lads, how­ever, could not sus­tain the hosts’ pres­sure in the sec­ond half in which they con­ceded 28 points and only man­aged to score 12. At one stage in the sec­ond half, Zim­babwe led Namibia 29-28, but failed to con­tain the home team’s at­tack.

The Young Sables’ points con­sisted of four tries, three con­ver­sions and a penalty goal.

It is the sec­ond year run­ning that Zim­babwe Un­der20 have lost out to Namibia in the fi­nal of the African qual­i­fier.

In 2015 un­der the guid­ance of Bren­don Brider, the Young Sables lost 32-34 in ex­tra time at St Ge­orge’s Col­lege in Harare. Luck­ily, Zim­babwe won the right to host the tour­na­ment, which was staged at Harare Sports Club at the end of April dur­ing which the Young Sables fin­ished as the worst side in the eight-team com­pe­ti­tion af­ter los­ing all their four matches.

For them to book a place in Satur­day’s fi­nal, Zim­babwe edged Kenya 27-26 on Wed­nes­day last week.

Un­like their se­niors, who were rel­e­gated from Di­vi­sion 1A, the Young Sables’ vic­tory over Kenya en­sured they re­main in the elite group whose win­ner qual­i­fies for the World Rugby Un­der-20 Tro­phy. — @ Mdaw­ini_29

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