Sables captain's rallying call

HARARE - Zimbabwe's XVs rugby captain Denford Mutamangira has challenged his troops to put behind the shaky preparations to upset Namibia in the Africa Cup 1A tie in Windhoek today.

The Sables were dealt a heavy blow after several regulars pulled out of the decisive encounter due to work and club commitments resulting in the technical team looking elsewhere for depth.

Cyprian Mandenge’s charges did not have a proper camp to prepare for this decisive encounter and only left for Windhoek yesterday afternoon.

“It’s not an ideal camp that we wanted as a team and also some of the guys couldn’t make it. We have got new faces in the team but at the end of the day we can’t keep on mourning about that,” Mutamangira told the Daily News at the Harare International Airport yesterday.

“We need to go out there and front up, play and win. We don’t want to go out there and start giving excuses about certain issues that we have had in the camp bearing in mind that we also don’t want to have any problems in the camp.”

Mutamangira, who was recently included in the Sharks Currie Cup squad, wore a brave face and said the Sables can still come back home triumphant against all odds.

“The guys are really looking forward to playing the game although it (shoddy preparations) had affected them but I believe once we are there and we put on that green and white jersey, everyone is gonna focus on the game,” he said.

“They (Namibia) have been preparing for the World Cup and basically they have got their best players in the squad and Namibia has always been our toughest opponent in Africa so we are really aware how dangerous they are and that’s why we need to focus as a team. We need to go out there and give it our 120 percent.

“Our chances are high, last year when we played them in Madagascar we lost but the game was very close so we just need to have the right mindset to have a chance of beating them.

“The guys have got love for their country and that’s the only thing that’s motivating them to go and play.”

Meanwhile, Old Georgians’ lock, Kyle de Beer is looking forward to earning only his second Sables cap having made his debut six years ago in a Africa Cup tie against Botswana.

“It’s taken a while for my second game to come, I injured myself and then I have been away for about four years but I have come back, started working hard and all and the guys think that I’m good enough to make the team again,” de Beer said.

“I think we have been trying hard, the guys seem to have jelled well together, there’s a good atmosphere within the team so it’s gonna be a good game tomorrow (today) and we will definitely gonna try and bring the trophy home.”

Sables Starting XV: 15. Tangai Nemadire, 14. Tafadzwa Chitokwindo, 13. Cleopas Makotose, 12. Rian O’Neill, 11. Steven Hunduza, 10.Tichafara Makwanya (vice capt), 9. Charles Jiji, 8. Kingsley Lang, 7. Lucky Sithole, 6. Andrew Rose, 5. Biselele Tshamala, 4. Fortune Chipendu, 3. Brian Makamure, 2. Royal Mwale, 1. Denford Mutamangira (capt)

Replacements: 16. Tatenda Karuru, 17. Tatenda Murwira, 18. Sanele Sibanda, 19. Kyle de Beer, 20. Hilton Mudariki, 21. Lenience Tambwera, 22. Gerald Sibanda

Coach: Cyprian Mandenge, Assistant coach: Nsikelelo Sibanda, Team Manager: Sebastain Garikai

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