Sables stutter in RWC quest

HARARE - Zimbabwe rugby coach Brendan Dawson was left livid after the Sables’ Rugby World Cup qualification fate was taken from their hands by Namibia’s come-from-behind win in Antananarivo yesterday.

The Sables were at one stage leading 20-10 only to be bulldozed by the Namibians’ rolling maul in the latter stages of the second half.

With Kenya walloping Madagascar 34-0 for their second win of the tournament, Zimbabwe’s task to gain automatic qualification to next year’s Rugby World Cup in England has been made all the more harder.

The Sables who are now occupy second place with five points from two games now desperately need a bonus point win against log leaders Kenya on Saturday to keep their World Cup dream alive.

“It was taken from us at the end. Basically we can blame ourselves for throwing it away like that,” Dawson said after the match.

“We were starting to build phases and if continued to build phases through to the end we would have gone through but a lock trying to kick for possession and touch.

“It’s just ludicrous but hey we can only blame ourselves for that.”

Namibia drew first blood through a converted penalty before Zimbabwe fought their way back through full-back Tangai Nemadire’s converted try.

Nemadire was soon rewarded for his hard running and skill, planting Zimbabwe’s second try that took them to a 17-10 half time lead.

It all went horribly wrong for Dawson’s charges deep into the second stanza as they went on to concede two unanswered tries.

“The first half went well exactly how we planned it but second half the Namibians came out really determined because they obviously also want to qualify,” Dawson said.

“But we just didn’t absorb them enough and keep them down in their half.  We should have kept them in their half but they came in our half with big driving mauls and their line-outs.”

Although deflated by the result, Dawson believes the result does not spell the end of Zimbabwe’s World Cup dream.

“We are not going to go down I think we got a bonus point for that win. So if we can win against Kenya and get a bonus point we are still in the hunt.”

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