Mandivenga illuminates Coca-Cola Craven Week

POLOKWANE - The Zimbabwe schools’ rugby team’s impressive run at the ongoing 2013 Coca-Cola Craven Week can be attributed to the form of mercurial fullback Brendon Mandivenga.

The Peterhouse College rugby star has been in impressive form for the Young Sables here in Polokwane starring in both wins over Griquas and Limpopo Blue Bulls.

Mandivenga, who was born on 15 January 1995 and weighs in at 83kg, is arguably the best backline player of this current generation.

His pedigree has shown at the Craven Week as he is currently the tournament’s leading point scorer with 38 points to his name from two matches thus far.

The 18-year-old, has the ability to play any position in the backline and possesses a lethal right boot which has been a valuable assert for the Young Sables.

Mandivenga came to the fore in the first game against Griquas in the Young Sables 35-17 win on Monday.

The Young Sables fullback scored 20 points and was voted the Powerade man-of-the-match for his performance against the Kimberley-based side.

Griquas were left powerless as they failed to find a way to counter Mandivenga’s precise right boot.

He slotted in three penalties and three conversions out of the eight attempts he had at goal to end the match with a success rate of 75 percent.

To top it up, Mandivenga added a try of his own to kick start the Young Sables tournament on a good note.

Mandivenga’s successes story continued on Wednesday against the hosts, Limpopo Blue Bulls, who had in previous years dominated the Young Sables.

The Zimbabwe fullback had another good game as he controlled proceedings with his vision and skill to score 18 points as the Young Sables won the match convincingly 43-5.

That mercurial right boot came to the fore again as 13 of those points all came from the kicking tee.

Mandivenga shared the secret behind his success rate with his boot.

“Whenever I find the opportunity to have a separate kicking session I will go down and have a session either before or after our main team session,” he told the Daily News.

“It’s quite hard to get these sessions done with other factors such as schoolwork getting in the way, but it’s important to practice these individual skills.

“I believe constant practice and hard work will beat talent anyway.”

Mandivenga had a brief stint at Leicester Tigers Academy early this year and has expressed his desire to turn professional after he has finished his studies.

“I’m very keen to go and give it a shot as I absolutely love this game and if I could play it for a living, then that would be the best job in the world for me,” he said.

“I’m going to do some studying as well because unfortunately I could never play rugby forever.”

With the way he has lit up the Craven Week, Mandivenga definitely has a future in the game if he keeps on putting in such performances.

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