Zimbabwe Goshawks…. (17) 22
Kenya Simbas……………(10) 21
The Zimbabwe Goshawks held off a spirited fight back from the Kenyan Simbas to squeak a 22-21 (halftime 17-10) victory at the City Park Stadium in Athlone.
The Goshawks established an early 17-0 lead thanks to tries from flanker Biselele Tshamala and centre Takudzwa Chieza, both converted by scrumhalf Hilton Mudariki, who had opened the scoring with a penalty.
A penalty from flyhalf Jone Tavaga and a try from centre Vincent Owino, which was converted by Tavaga, brought the Simbas to within a score at the break.
Tavaga closed the gap to four points shortly after the restart before an unconverted try by hooker Matthew Mandioma extended the Zimbabweans lead to nine points.
Another penalty from Tavaga brought the Kenyans to within six points and a try from replacement flanker Elkeans Mukamiti six minutes from time, gave the Simbas the chance to snatch victory but Tavaga’s conversion attempt was unsuccessful.
The result gave Zimbabwe their first win on their third attempt in their maiden season in the Currie Cup First Division; having ost 34-10 to Georgian outfit Black Lion in their first game before losing 48-5 to the defending champions Griffons two weeks ago.
Kenya, who are competing as Simbas had only played one match prior to yesterday’s encounter which ended in a 54-14 defeat at the hands of the Falcons in Johannesburg.
Despite the slim margin of victory Zimbabwe, who are fielding an experimental side in the Currie Cup First Division will be delighted to get one over the Kenyans ahead of the 2022 Rugby Africa Cup to be staged in France in July.
After the Currie Cup campaign, the teams are expected to travel to France for the Rugby Africa Cup tournament, which is also being used as qualifiers for the 2023 Rugby World Cup.
Zimbabwe will begin the tournament with a date against Ivory Coast, with the winner meeting the victor of the clash between Namibia and Burkina Faso.
Kenya, on the other hand, begin their campaign with a date against Uganda, and the winner will meet the victor of the tie between Senegal and Algeria.
Winner of the eight-nation Africa Cup on July 10 will advance to the World Cup in 2023 in
Simbas – Try: Vincent Owinal; Conversion: Jone Tavaga; Penalties: Tavaga (3).
Zimbabwe Goshawks – Tries: Biselele Tshamala, Takudzwa Chieza, Matthew Mandioma; Conversions: Hilton Mudariki (2); Penalty: Mudariki — Sports Reporter/SuperSport