stephen bhasera


Zimbabwe Under-20. . . . (6) 22
Uruguay Under-20. . . . . . (36) 50
The Zimbabwe Young Sables yesterday put up yet another dismal performance to go down 50-22 to Uruguay in their second Junior World Rugby Trophy encounter played at Harare Sports Club.
The loss can yet again be alluded to the team’s failure to perform the basics.
Their failure to clear the 22, contest the ball during line outs and perform basic ball handling techniques saw the visitors race to an early 36-6 lead in the first-half.
Uruguay got their points through Martin Fitipaldo, an awarded penalty-try and a brace from Inside-center Inkai Ormaechea.
The score could have been worse were it not for the appalling kicking of fly-half Felipe Etcheverry who managed to convert only one of the three tries on offer during the first stanza.
Clearly outsized, the Young Sables didn’t do themselves any favors by trying to match their bigger opponents pound for pound.
The few times they did try to use the running game led to success, as seen by tries by eighth-men Aiden Burnett, during the first-half, and another brace of their own from fullback Tarisai Mapfumo in the second stanza.
With the ever dangerous Fiji side on the horizon, gaffer Brendon Brider will have a lot to work on if the team is to avoid yet another mauling on home ground.
Of particular note was the decision to field Prince Edward scarlet Shingi Katswere at Fly-half instead of his more fancied and lethal fullback.
Katsvere struggled all day with his decision making, kicking duties and ball distribution at the playmaker position.
His clearance hardly gave his line anything to chase, he tended to hold on to the ball for too long and lacked the speed to make meaningful decisions and ball distributions.
Another factor had more to do with the mental aspects of the game, as the team’s spirited attempt at a comeback during the first 20 minutes of the second half came after some stern words from the gaffer.
“Belief was at the heart of my halftime team talk,’ said Brider.
“We just need believe in ourselves, cut off the areas, take our opportunities and stop this habit of making a try and conceding two or three more.
‘That is basically what I said to them,’ he said.
True to form, the Young Sables did make an attempt at a comeback as Mapfumo’s brace saw the deficit cut down to 14 points as Uruguay went into the final 209 minutes leading 36-22.
Unfortunately, tries from Fitipaldo and hooker Yamandu Arburuas, at the depth, effectively killed the game off as a contest.
“I am very disappointed at the team’s performance yet again,” said Brider after the game.
“We wasted a lot of opportunities, didn’t perform the basics right and made a lot of silly mistakes at crucial moments of the game and crucial areas of the field.
‘All those things combined to cost us a lot of tries either side and now we just have go back to the drawing board and try to be better prepared for our next opponents,’ he said.
R. Mubayiwa, T. Musasanura, J. Mendelsohn, K. Ndoro, T. Mangwana, C. Pritchard, A. Burnett, T. Gamanya, S. Katsvere, K. Munangi, A. Bruce, M. Manhombo, S. Phiri, T. Mapfumo
Replacements: T. Chikwezvero, D. Nyamugama, E. Mudzengerere.
R. Lame, Y. Arburuas, G. Pujadas, J. Quintero, L. Surraco, A. Ortas, M. Brignoni, S. Civetta, S. Arata, F. Etcheverry, M. Fitipaldo, I. Ormaechea, T. Inciarte, B. Mascia, L. Duran.
Replacements: A. Sosa, A. Corte

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