THE Sables have returned from their week’s tour of duty in Madagascar short of continental glory but full of hope for qualification to the Rugby World Cup finals to be hosted in England in 2015.
Zimbabwe embarked on the trip to Madagascar last week with a two-pronged mission, firstly and more importantly to stay in contention for England 2015 by keeping their Africa Group 1A position and winning the continental Cup.
The first mission was accomplished when the national 15’s side beat Madagascar 38-18 but lost out in the final on Sunday against Kenya (29-17).
National team coach Brendan Dawson said he remains full of confidence Zimbabwe will qualify for the World Cup despite the defeat.
“Kenya had prepared well for this tournament they put in everything, they had all their players available and for us it was different we missed some players after a few problems in camp yet the match was a tight contest,” said Dawson. “Towards the end we were trailing 22-17 and the gap increased after a later try. I think if we get everyone in and bring in more players and have the best preparations we will be strong enough to beat anyone. I am confident that if we do the right things we will be at the World Cup come 2015.”
Dawson said the defeat was a blessing in disguise as it ensures they will play Madagascar again in next year’s semifinals while Kenya takes on Namibia.
The winners of next year’s Africa Cup get a ticket to England while the losing finalists get another shot against European team in a play-off.