The Herald (Harare)

Zimbabwe: 'Ill-Discipline Costs Sables'

SABLES' flyhalf Tichafara Makwanya believes his side's 11-28 rugby loss at the hands of Belgium yesterday was as a result of ill-discipline and lack of basics. This was the Sables second defeat in the Emirates Four-Nations rugby tournament at 7he Sevens Rugby Stadium in Dubai.

On Saturday, Zimbabwe were 7-22 casualties against Hong Kong at 7he Sevens Stadium in Dubai and hoped to redeem themselves against Belgium, but that was not to be as they surrendered a half-time lead yesterday.

"We made a lot of mistakes, especially on the basics of the game and we struggled to lay a platform for our own play.

"Once there is no platform for the game, then it becomes difficult to play.

"The set pieces were our greatest weakness and I feel that we did not gel because we have not had a lot of time together.

"Yellow cards also cost us the game as we were two men down at some stage.

"There was no cohesion in our side and it was a bad day for us and it's a sad result not only for me or the team but the nation as a whole . . . We need to go back to the basics if we are to do well," said the Old Hararians flyhalf.

Going into the break yesterday, the Sables were leading 11-8 through two penalties and a try while the Europeans got their points courtesy of a try and a penalty by flyhalf Carlos Fierro.

Zimbabwe were the first to go on the scoresheet with two penalties from Makwanya's boot before Belgium responded with an unconverted try.

Zimbabwe extended their lead through a try by eighth-man Takunda Chifokoyo and Makwanya failed to convert.

Belgium then got a penalty to reduce the arrears to three points.

But the complexion of the game changed in the second half, as the Sables failed to hold on to their lead, allowing the Belgians to creep back into the game, gaining control and did all the damage to the Brandon Dawson-coached side.

It was in the second period that the Sables were reduced to spectators as they failed to add to their tally while Belgium came back a different side.

Belgium scored 20 unanswered points in the second half and were quick to plant in the Sables left side of the in-goal though Fierro failed to add the bonus points to gain control of the game for the first time.

Then Zimbabwe lost it all.

They lacked basic playing structure, the defensive patterns were virtually non-existent and were outdone in all departments of the game including rucking, mauls, line-outs and scrummaging, where the forwards were made light work of.

The attack was blunt with a lot of dropped balls as they rarely made flowing passes, dropped balls again characterised the Sables back line and there was very little ball retention. And this killed the game for Zimbabwe, but for Belgium, it was a gift on a silver platter as they capitalised on Zimbabwe's weaknesses to add two more tries, one of them converted and seal the victory for the Andrew Neil-captained side.

The Sables take on hosts United Arab Emirates in their final assignment of the tournament on Friday at 7he Sevens Stadium.

Teams

Sables 1-8: Simba Musarurwa, Keith Murray, Nic Winwood, Sanile Sibanda, Jan Ferreira, Shingi Mpofu (captain), Biselele Tshamala, Takunda Chifokoyo.

9-15: Scotty Jones, Tichafara Makwanya, Kuda Chiwanza, Josh Rowe, Thomas Nelson Steven Hunduza, Jonathan McWade.Substitutes: Brian Makamure, Piet Joubert, Tapiwa Mangezi, Costa Dinha, Tonderai Chigumbura, Lenience Tambwera, Gavin Nyawata, Graham Kaulback.

Belgium 1-8: Julien Massimi, Bastian Vermeylen, Maxime Jadot, Cycil Nana, Mathieu Verschelden, Andrew Neil (c), Michael De Molder, Thomas De Molder,

9-15: Sébastien Guns, Carlos Fierro, Thibaut André, Dirk Haghedooren, Guillaume Piron, Eliott Van Trappen, Alan WilliamsSubstitutes: Alexis Cuffolo, Thomas Dienst, Alain Miriallakis, Bertrand Billi, Corentin Lecloux, Daniel Janssens, Kevin Dams, Frédéric Rongé.

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