Sloppy Sables held by Morocco

Zimbabwe..................(14) 23

Morocco.....................(16) 23

HARARE - Zimbabwe's quest to qualify for the 2019 Rugby World Cup suffered a major blow when the Sables were held to a disappointing home draw by Morocco in a Rugby Afrique Gold Cup match yesterday.

The Sables made so many handling errors and poor decisions with ball in hand throughout the game and were never really in control against a side that was promoted into the Gold Cup this year.

Zimbabwe missed tackles and their discipline on the break down was poor as they were caught offside or coming in from the side on numerous occasions.

The Sables were punished by the right boot of Hmiddouch Chakir, who was cool as ice from the kicking tee.

The Moroccan flyhalf finished the match with 13 points as he also converted the two tries scored by scrumhalf Ismail Nassik and wing Qadiri Karim.

Although, he managed to score four penalties, Sables flyhalf Lenience Tambwera’s kicking game was not up to standard for a Test match.

Tambwera missed two penalties including what looked like a gettable 25 yard effort from the right side on the buzzer which could have won the match for the home side. But the Harare Sports Club flyhalf dragged his kick wide of the posts much to the disappointment of the home fans.

Earlier on in the first half, debutant full back Shingi Katsvere scored two tries which were all converted by Tambwera but it was not enough to give the home side the win.

New Sables coach Peter de Villiers was disappointed with the performance from his team.

“I can describe it as a game of missed opportunities and we paid the price. Throughout the game we gave them two soft tries and we had to play catch-up,” de Villiers said.

“The character of the team came out when we were behind and had to play catch-up and then again we missed a chance at the end; I’m not happy.”

Morocco forwards coach Gasmi Koudier said: “Zimbabwe have good players and the quality of the game was good but now we are going to watch the game again and analyse what we have to improve for our next game against Kenya.”

Chakir got his first points on the board as early as the seventh minute when he scored a penalty after an infringement by the Sables during a ruck.

The Sables responded with Katsvere’s try in the 11th minute after a great incept and a chip from the fullback.

Morocco’s fullback Jaoodat Souheyl should have gathered Katsvere’s kick but fumbled allowing his opposite number to profit and Tambwera converted.

The Sables fullback completed a memorable debut when he crossed the white wash again just before the half hour mark.

This time around it was a well-worked move as scrumhalf Hilton Mudariki at first receiver from Sables line out combined with Tambwera.

The Sables flyhalf then released an on-rushing Katsvere, who broke through the Morocco defence.     

Morocco responded immediately when Souheyl, who gave the Sables defence a torrid time all afternoon, made a sweeping run on the left before offloading to Nassik.

From there on, the game was now all about the kicking abilities of Tambwera and Chakir as they exchanged blows.

At times, Brendon Mandivenga took over the kicking duties for the long efforts but his two attempts were awful.

Scorers

For Zim:

Tries: Katsvere 11m, 29m

Cons: Tambwera 2

Pens: Tambwera 3

For Mor:

Tries: Nassik 31m, Souheyl 65m

Cons: Chakir 2

Pens: Chakir 3

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