Zim aim for better fortunes

DURBAN - The Old Mutual Zimbabwe Under-18 rugby team have made wholesale changes as they seek to salvage some pride when they take on old nemesis Namibia in wet and cool conditions this morning.

The side is yet to fire from all cylinders, only overcoming Griquas Country Districts16-9 courtesy of a last minute try before stumbling against GWK Griquas 78-5 in their penultimate match of the U18 Coca Cola Craven Week.

The Junior Sables are unlikely to find the going any  easier against a formidable Namibian side which has over a dozen tries in their two matches at the Youth Week with Zimbabwe only managing two in as many matches.

Yet coach Godwin Murambiwa believes his side can bounce back and come good today in Thekweni.

“Against Namibia we are going to put our best foot forward and reward the boys based on solid performances from the two games played this week,” Murambiwa said.

“We know and feel the pressure because this is a full Test match being played at 8am in the morning...a wet field early start.”

Zimbabwe is staying one and a half hours away from venue which could work against them.

“We need to block out that...this also affects Namibia so we expect the boys to step up to do their best and really get everyone's confidence back (because) on Wednesday, we really let ourselves down.”

After making eight mandatory changes to the side that opened Zimbabwe's campaign on Monday, as stipulated by the Craven Week rules, Murambiwa has opted for his best starting XV.

The Junior Sables will field a front row of hooker Tinashe Chaza, props Samuel Garnett and Cleopas Kundiona.

Other changes in the forwards are flank Tichaona Hwangwa, lock Stuart Marriot-Doddington and scrum-half Connor Macmillan.

The notable changes in the backline are Martin Mangongo, who has been moved from centre to fullback, and the coming in of Rodney Sachiti at centre.

Zimbabwe starting XV: 15.Martin Mangongo, 14.Tapiwa Marimira, 13. Rodney Sachiti, 12.Matthew MacNab, 11. Peter Davis, 10. Benjamin Meredith, 9 Connor Macmillan, 8. Tendekai Chigwedere, 7.Tichaona Hwangwa, 6. Stuart Marriot-Doddington, 5, Godfrey Magoramombe 4. Daniel Hutchings, 3. Cleopas Kundiona, 2.Samuel Garnett, 1.Simbarashe Maringa.

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