POLOKWANE – The Zimbabwe Under-18 schools rugby team finally exorcised the ghosts of Limpopo Blue Bulls that had haunted them for the past two years with an impressive 5-43 victory at the Old Peter Mokaba Stadium on Wednesday.
The Young Sables defence has been in good shape at this year’s edition of the Coca-Cola Craven Week and kept the Limpopo side at bay throughout the 70 minutes.
Blue Bulls, who had massacred Zimbabwe in the past two years, struggled to cope with the Young Sables’ mauls which gained essential territory.
Zimbabwe’s quick backline was extremely dangerous on the counter with the bulk of their tries starting in their own half.
The Young Sables opened their account as early as the second minute courtesy of a Brendon Mandivenga penalty.
Five minutes later, the Limpopo side blew a glorious opportunity to level the scores when Theodrus Maree missed a sitter in front of the sticks.
They were made to pay for that miss as Young Sables speed merchant Tawanda Ngosi grabbed the first try of the match when he retrieved a box kick made by halfback Andrew Dollar.
Mandivenga easily added the extra points.
Skipper and flank Daniel Moolman extended Zimbabwe’s lead to 15-0 just before the break when he barrelled over the whitewash off a well orchestrated rolling maul.
This time around Mandivenga’s conversion struck the upright post.
In the second period, Zimbabwe shifted gears when wing Brendon Boshi showed a clean pair of heels dashing 60 metres before dotting down for a converted try.
Mandivenga’s Cinderella story continued when he ran in a try and converted it to put the game to bed for coach Godwin “Jaws” Murambiwa’s side.
Fullback Jabulani Mutukwa compounded the Blue Bulls’ woes with another counter attack when he cut right through the Limpopo side’s defence from his own 22 metre line.
Mutukwa sprinted for almost 75 metres before crossing the whitewash.
The Bulls defence kept leaking allowing Zimbabwe’s prop Tanaka Chikwezvero to sneak in another try which Mandivenga converted.
The Blue Bulls were able to score a late consolation try through Saudevandre Rolls.
Ngosi, who was a live wire and proved to be menace — was rightfully voted man of the match receiving a R500 prize money and a Powerade mini fridge.
Ngosi spoke to the Daily News soon after the match.
“I took a while to get into the game that’s why I had a few blunders in the beginning but Jabulani helped me get back into the game,” he said.
“Once I had my confidence back it was fun, running at those guys. I am happy things turned out right in the end.”
This crop of 2013 will be looking to emulate the class of 2007, who won all three of their games.
The Young Sables will now round up their Craven Week programme with a clash against Namibia on Saturday morning.