Sables finish 3rd in Hong Kong

HARARE - Zimbabwe XVs senior men rugby coach Cyprian Mandenge said he is pleased to have achieved some of the objectives they set out during the Regal Hotels Cup in Hong Kong.

The Sables finished the tournament in third place after losses to Russia (19-15) and Hong Kong (34-11) before defeating Papua New Guinea 38-11 in their final match.

This was a step in the positive direction compared to last year when the Sables lost all their matches at the same tournament.

“We achieved most of the things we set ourselves before the tournament although, personally, I would have wanted us to win the competition because we play to win in every event we participate in,” Mandenge told the Daily News yesterday.

“The tournament also pointed out some very important areas that we are found wanting as a team which include conditioning.

“Quite a few guys broke down because of lack of fitness and playing another game inside two days also exposed that aspect of culture shock.

“Our players are not used to playing a lot within this specific time frame and the levels of fitness were very low.

“There was also the issue of dieting — I think we need the recovery supplements to aid us in terms of recovery and above all it was a question of game time; we need more games to be able to meet the standards such as the ones we came across in Hong Kong.”

Mandenge added: “The teams in Africa are gaining ground on us. Kenya is playing a lot of games and they beat us this year in the African Cup.

“We aren’t the bullyboys anymore so we need more games so we can start challenging again.

“This is a higher standard than the Africa Cup, but we believe we can beat the teams here, especially if we can get more game time.”

The Sables were using the tournament as preparatory games for the 2017 Africa Cup Group 1B campaign.

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.