24 April 2017

Zimbabwe: Young Sables Choke in Madagascar

THE Young Sables capped a disappointing outing in the Africa Under-20 Championship when they conceded a last-minute try in the Group A third-place playoff defeat to hosts Madagascar yesterday.

Justin Tojonirina Razafimanonjy planted a 79th minute try to steal a 36-35 win over the Zimbabweans who had controlled the game from the first-minute.

Zimbabwe, who had lost their opening match to Kenya on Friday, missed the opportunity to qualify for the World Rugby Under-20 Trophy to be held in Uruguay from August 29 to September 10 following the losses.

Defending Africa Under-20 champions Namibia walked away with the ticket to represent the region at the global stage after outclassing Kenya 66-24 in the final.

The bad news for the Zimbabwe youth team is that they could be relegated to the second-tier of the tournament.

The Young Sables were on course yesterday as they controlled the game from the first minute when Pride Ameni put them ahead with penalty kick which was followed by an unconverted try by Aiden Burnet.

Zimbabwe led 21-17 at half-time after Ameni kicked in two more penalties and was on hand to convert a 25th minute try by Gregory Mihindu.

The Young Sables looked on course for their first win with the scoreboard reading 35-29 in their favour but Razafimanonjy touched down and Tahina Rajaonarivelo made no mistake with the conversion.

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