Sables in acid test

Enock Muchinjo

TOMORROW, in the mean afternoon heat of Kampala, Zimbabwe rugby will come under a stern test as the Sables seek to gore Uganda in the second leg of their play-off to guarantee further interest

in the quest to qualify for the 2007 World Cup finals.


Zimbabwe carry a six-point lead going into the second leg after the 22-16 win in Harare in the first leg a fortnight ago, but tomorrow brings with it a new ball game altogether.


This week in training the Sables took their slight first-leg win in their stride and worked endlessly on their weaknesses. The intention of coach Chris Lampard and his assistants was apparent.


The players were put under a strenuous workout as they try to discover ways to protect the rolling mauls and turnovers which Uganda successfully enforced against the Sables, scoring their two tries from set play. By Lampard’s own admission, the pack lacked firepower in all their last three matches, and they will have to come to the party tomorrow.


However, Sables skipper Max Madziva this week spoke so confidently about the match tomorrow, and his belief was buried in the reality that if the Sables’ first leg win was a result of a combination of luck and graft, this time it would be genuine expertise and pace that will make the difference.


“The good thing is that we have worked each other out,” said Madziva.

“They played better than us in the forwards pack in the first match, but we noted that their pack is not any heavier than ours and we are just as physical as them, while we are certainly superior in the backline.”


Zimbabwe starting line-up:

Norman Mutiba, Michael Rhodes, Aubrey Dube, Fortune Chipendo, Reuben Kumpasa, Max Madziva, Prayer Chitenderu, Mbekezeli Ndiweni, Gary Hewitt, David Cloete, Wesley Mbanje, Rodney Cloete, Willis Magasa, Elvis Chirenje, Tangai Nemadire.

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