HomeSportYoung Sables seek to end 11-year wait in Barthes Trophy final

Young Sables seek to end 11-year wait in Barthes Trophy final

BY DANIEL NHAKANISO

ZIMBABWE’S Under-20 rugby national team will be seeking to end a 11 year wait for continental silverware when they clash against old foes Namibia in the Rugby Africa Under-20 Barthes Trophy final at the Nyayo International Stadium in Nairobi today.

The match kicks off at 3:30pm.

Once regular winners of the competition when it was still known as the Junior Africa Cup, the Young Sables won three successive titles in 2009, 2010 and 2011, in a golden era for the youth team.

The Takudzwa Musingwini-captained Zimbabwe class of 2022 ill have an opportunity to win their fourth title for the nation against the record nine-time winners Namibia in today’s much awaited final.

The Young Sables qualified for their first final in the competition since 2016 after defeating Madagascar 32-3 in a lopsided semifinal encounter on Wednesday.

The win came on the back of a 19-18 last gasp victory against Tunisia in the quarterfinal last Saturday.

After clearing the first two hurdles, the Young Sables will now face their biggest test of the competition when they face Namibia, who have in the past dominated local teams across all age groups.

Namibia will be the favourites heading into the final as they have been more clinical in their earlier matches after thrashing Ivory Cast 62-0 in the quarterfinals before dismissing hosts Kenya 16-5 in the semis.

The Young Sables do not have a good record against Namibia in the final of the having suffered defeats to their southern African rivals in the last three appearances in the final of the competition in 2012, 2015 and 2016.

However head coach Shaun de Souza is confident his charges will emerge victorious if they minimise mistakes in the decisive game.

“We have faith in this team to do the job against Nambia tomorrow,” De Souza said in an interview with StandardSport yesterday.

“We are expecting Namibia to come hard. They ant this title as badly is we do. The team that comes out to play and has fewer errors will win tomorrow,” he said.

The Zimbabwe coach also expressed his satisfaction with the team’s preparations ahead of the final.

“We just had morning one on one session which seems to have gone well, just to make sure every player understands individual roles and responsibilities from an individual perspective. Uncertain areas have been clarified and we believe we are ready for the final tomorrow,” added De Souza.

 Zimbabwe Team:

Starting 15: 1. Farai Madzima, 2. Marlon Guwuriro, 3. Tomuvonga Msasanure (vc), 4. Tamuka Kambani, 5.Simbarashe Siraha, 6. Tanaka Ndoro, 7. Tendai Chimyama, 8. Tanaka Gondomukandapi, 9. Panashe Zuze, 10. Takudzwa Musingwini (Captain), 11. Liberty Sibanda, 12. Alex Nyamunda, 13. Tavonga Ablant, 14. Tanaka Ndabambi, 15. Brendan Marume

Replacements: 16. Bryan Chiang, 17. Veshal Jasi, 18. Tadiwa Chinwada, 19. Muzuva Gutu, 20.        Shadrick Mandaza, 21. Simbarashe Kanyangarara, 22. Dion Khumalo, 23. Denzel Maramba

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