Sables seek survival

The Zimbabwe national 15s rugby side are targeting a quick turnaround of their fortunes when they clash with Tunisia in a Gold Cup match at Prince Edward School in a match that could have consequences on their quest to qualify for the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

By Kennedy Nyavaya

The Sables’ main brief is to stay afloat in Group 1A, which gives them an opportunity to play in the World Cup qualifiers next year.

One of the six teams currently in Group 1A drops down to Group 1B, swapping places with Morocco who will be promoted.
Zimbabwe have so far won one match and know they will need to win tomorrow to enhance their chances of staying above the water line.

The Sables lost to Kenya last week having also suffered defeat against Nambia.

Coach Cyprian Mandenge has promised fireworks when his charges run out to face the North African side tomorrow.

He is only expected to name the team today after getting advice from the medical team, with some players struggling with injuries and illness.

Linience Tambwera has been ruled out due to a knee injury, while Jacques Leitao missed training yesterday due to illness.
Fortune Chipendo and Bisele Tshamala only resumed training yesterday.

“I think the fans can expect fireworks from the team on Saturday,” Mandenge said. “The guys really want to win this match, we have always played to win and the motivation and desire to succeed is still there among the boys.”

Mandenge said he has not focused on Tunisia much, but wants to see his charges execute their game plan, which he thinks will give them the result they want.

“I have been focusing on our team, what we can do, we want to control the game and do the processes correctly. If we do everything the way we have been training, we will win the game.

While Tunisia have been the whipping boys of the Group, the Sables will still have to play well in a match where a win would guarantee their place in the elite pool.

Zimbabwe still have to play against Uganda away next week in their last match of the competition.
Having lost to the same opponents last year, the Sables will also be out for revenge.

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