Sables impress Mandenge

HARARE - Despite poor organisation by the Zimbabwe Rugby Union (ZRU) that characterised the Sables’ international friendly against Zambia last weekend, coach Cyprian Mandenge was pleased with his side’s performance.

The Sables ran in six tries on their way to an emphatic 64-3 victory over the Zambians during a lopsided evening match at Harare Sports Club last Saturday.

The Sables tries were scored by Takudzwa Kumadiro, Tolerance Zishe, Lawrence Cleminson, Dan Capsopoulos, Scotty Jones and Boyd Rouse.

Earlier in the day, the men’s Zimbabwe A had emerged with a slender 29-25 win over Zambia A while the Lady Sables had defeated their counterparts 39-0.

While the aftermath of the weekend’s action has been dominated by the ZRU shortcomings, Mandenge however, saw some positives on the pitch.

“The boys played well; they showed that they are hungry but I’m sure we could have done more but at the end of the day it helped in seeing what we have got in terms of testing our character,” Mandenge said of his charges.

“I think there’s something that we got from the game but I would have wanted to see us under pressure and see how we apply ourselves under these conditions.

“We weren’t tested enough but I’m sure it’s not a matter of them not testing us enough, I think we were just too strong for them.”

With most of the Sables’ foreign contingent not available for the match since the ZRU could not afford to fly them in from their bases, Mandenge was forced to use locally-based players.

“We need to continue with everyone that’s here and look at all other guys who are not here,” he said.

“I’m happy there’s now competition for jerseys and this is what I told the players that ‘make it difficult for me to select a side’ and they have just done that.

“With the guys who are not here it’s worth, money permitting, to play possibles versus probables because the guys did put up a good show.”

With just under a month to go before the Sables begin their 2017 Africa Cup campaign with a home match against Senegal in Bulawayo, the side no longer have any more warm-up matches lined up. From now on until July 15, the national team will only rely on intense training sessions before the clash against the West Africans.

“We need to train hard now because we have seen areas that we are still lagging behind and need to fix,” Mandenge said.

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