Sables in must win encounter

HARARE - Sables coach Cyprian Mandenge is confident his charges will be able to recover from the shocking home defeat to Kenya in a must win African Cup Test match against Uganda at the Police Grounds this Saturday.

The Sables suffered a humiliating 61-15 defeat at the hands of the Simbas at the same venue two weeks ago as the team’s shoddy preparations for the rugby Test were ruthlessly exposed by the East Africans.

After that defeat demoralising defeat, Mandenge admitted that all was not well in the Sables camp as players had contemplated not playing the encounter due to lack of resources from the Zimbabwe Rugby Union.

Nothing much has changed since that chastening defeat but this time around Mandenge believes his side will put in a much better performance on home soil.

“We started training on Sunday, the drills have been good and generally we are happy heading into a must win encounter against Uganda,” Mandenge told the Daily News.

“We play every match as if it was our last and every coach would want to win every game and the same applies to the players.”

The Sables will once again be without a number of players due to injury and a number of scheduling issues. 

“We still have injury issues with Kingsley Lang still out on concussion and Tichafara Makwanya still side-lined,” Mandenge said.

“The other guys called in camp still did not make it this time again and we will work with those we have.

“It is now a bit different in that after the Kenya defeat we at least got a picture of where we were lacking and things should be different on Saturday.”

Zimbabwe needs to win the match at all costs and hope to beat Namibia in Windhoek in order to brighten their chances of winning the Africa Cup.

Sables squad:

Forwards: Lawrence Cleminson, Matthew Mandioma, Denford Mutamangira (capt), Fortunate Chipendu, Biselele Tshamalala, Jacques Leitao (vice-capt), Constantine Dinha, Irvin Nduwa, Witness Mandizha, Sanele Sibanda, Pieter Joubert, Njabulo Ndlovu, Keith Murray.

Backs: Charles Jiji, Lenience Tambwera, Stephan Hunduza, Boyd Rouse, Gavin Nyawata, Lungile Tshuma, Tangai Nemadire, Gerald Sibanda.

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