Sables stun Madagascar

HARARE - The new look Zimbabwe national rugby team stunned Madagascar 18-38 in front of a 40 000-strong home crowd in Antananarivo on Wednesday in the Africa Cup opening match.

The ill-tempered match almost ended in tragedy when Sables front rower Simba Mandioma had a piece of his ear bitten off by a Malagasy player five minutes before full time.

The Sables prop had to go to hospital where he got a number of stitches before he was discharged.

After the final whistle — at least 1 000 supporters invaded the pitch after failing to stomach the defeat to the Zimbabweans.

Luckily, no Sables player was injured during that melee by the rugby-mad Malagasy supporters.

Zimbabwe had a terrible first half going into the interval trailing the Indian Ocean Islanders by eight points.

Sables captain Jacques Leitao scored the only try in the first half which was converted by Lenience Tambwera. The Sables’ fullback also slotted a penalty shortly before halftime to keep Zimbabwe within touching distance of the islanders.

Coach Brendan Dawson’s stern words at halftime did the trick for the Sables, who emerged for the second period a much better side.

Tambwera initiated the second half comeback when he scored an early penalty to bring the Sables to within five points of Madagascar.

Zimbabwe scored three more tries in the second half through Keith Murray, Garth Ziegler and Sanele Sibanda.

Tambwera was able to convert two of the tries to further stretch the Sables’ lead before going on to two score two more penalties.

Flyhalf Boyd Rouse completed the rout when he scored a drop goal late in the match.

The Sables will now go into Sunday’s final against their nemesis Kenya buoyed by their impressive win over the Malagasy.

Getting into Sunday’s final was a priority for the Sables as it guaranteed that their dream to qualify for the 2015 Rugby World Cup remained a possibility.

Comments (1)

Well done boys! You make us proud. Way better than the Warriors. Go, go Sables.

Patriotic Zimbo - 11 July 2013

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