A lot at stake for the Sables


HARARE - The Zimbabwe rugby team is fully aware that a lot hangs in the balance in tomorrow’s Rugby Afrique Gold Cup match against Uganda in Kampala.

The Sables arrived in Kampala on Tuesday evening and have so far held two training sessions ahead of tomorrow’s encounter at the Kyadondo Rugby Grounds.

Any result other than a win for Peter de Villiers’ side might spell doom as it will come with relegation to the second-tier Silver Cup.

Zimbabwe are without a win in four matches after drawing at home with Morocco before losing on the road to Kenya and Tunisia.

Earlier this month, the Sables lost to Namibia at the Hartsfield Stadium in Bulawayo.

As things stand, de Villiers’ side sits in a precarious fifth place on the log standings with a paltry three points.

Bottom-placed Morocco in sixth place are also on three points and are away to fourth placed Tunisia in Monastir tomorrow afternoon as well.

If Morocco beat Tunisia or lose with a bonus point, this could spell trouble for the Sables if they are defeated by Uganda.

A win against the Cranes in Kampala tomorrow will be the best bet for the Sables to keep their Gold Cup status for next season.

Any loss with a bonus point might prove to be sufficient for Zimbabwe in the event that Morocco do not pick up any point against Tunisia.

Sables captain Denford Mutamangira was optimistic that his side would get the favourable result they need against the Cranes tomorrow.

At Hartsfield, Zimbabwe became the first side to score four tries against Namibia in this year’s competition in that 28-58 loss.

In their previous three matches before arriving in Bulawayo, Namibia had only conceded two tries.

“We just had a chat after the game and we said, ‘Guys, heads up, we have scored 28 against Namibia. It’s not a result that we wanted but going forward, we can go a gear up against Uganda’,” the prop forward said.

“We cannot score 28 points against Namibia and go out of the Gold Cup without a win. This is really our motivation when we go to Kampala.”

De Villiers was also given hope by that performance against Namibia and hopes his side can finally register a win in this competition and avoid relegation.

“We brought in some good youngsters that are very good for us going forward. When I started coaching the Springboks, I almost lost all of the games in 2008 but in 2009, we won the Tri-Nations and Lions Series,” he said.

“So, this game was about small important victories, we couldn’t make anymore and it was to get the bonus point; we got it.”

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