BY DANIEL NHAKANISO
Zimbabwe… (10) 56
Zambia……… (3) 3
The Sables overcame a scrappy first half performance to turn on the style in the second half, with a clinical performance full of power, speed and attacking flair on their way to a dominant win in the second international friendly against Zambia yesterday.
Exciting wing Shingi Katsvere was the star of the show at the Machinery Exchange Stadium at Harare Sports Club after scoring four tries including a second half hatrick.
Zimbabwe’s other tries came from livewire winger Martin Mangongo, captain Hilton Mudariki, outside centre Brandon Mudzekenyedzi, flank Biselele Tshamala and replacement flyhalf Keith Chiwara, who scored a late brace.
The home side could have won by a bigger margin after managing to convert only three of the 10 unanswered tries they scored.
After an early try by Mangongo, the Sables could have led by a bigger margin at the break but were let down by their handling errors and missed tackles while Zambia did well in defence.
The Sables also suffered a huge blow when flank Tonderai Chiwambutsa and prop Doug Juszczyk left the field early due to injuries.
The halftime break looked to breathe life into the Sables as they returned from halftime a rejuvenated side, fully exploiting the potency of their backline to run the Zambians ragged.
While Katsvere stood out with his finishing prowess, the star of the show for the Sables was inside centre Takudzwa Chieza, who produced a vintage performance which should excite head coach Brendan Dawson and his technical department ahead of tough tests ahead.
The dreadlocked centre, who never shies away from the physical confrontations, was always a menace with ball in hand, constantly punching holes in the Zambia defence and creating space for the back three to exploit.
He appears to have struck a brilliant combination with the stylish outside centre Mudzekenyedzi, who yet again produced a solid performance which he capped off by scoring his second try in as many matches late in the second half.
There was also another polished display from the experienced flank Tshamala, who started due to the injury to Tinotenda Mavesere, while hooker Royal Mwale was also impressive on his return to the side.
Meanwhile in an earlier match the Zimbabwe Under-20 men’s side completed a hatrick of wins over the Zambia Select side with a 65-12 win.
Zimbabwe’s national women’s side, the Lady Sables succumbed to their second successive defeat against Zambia after going down 38-17.