Junior Sables slay Canada in Rugby Series opener

The Chronicle

Innocent Kurira, Sports Reporter
THE Junior Sables took after the Chevrons who have made the nation proud through bat and ball as they began their campaign at the Canada International Rugby Series on a high note following a 32-24 victory over Canada at the University of Guelph at the weekend.

For Canada, the game marked a return to international competitions at Under 20 level.
The day’s action began with a 27-3 win for Uruguay over Chile before Roberts’ Canadian team took to the field for their tournament opener.

It was Zimbabwe who enjoyed the upper hand in the opening exchanges, and they capitalized via a sixth-minute penalty conversion by their captain and full back Takudzwa Musingwini.

The speed of the Junior Sables backline proved the difference, with flying winger Tavonga Ablant leading the way with a hat trick.

There was nowhere to hide for the Canadians in the opening half-hour. Zimbabwe captain Musingwini’s first attempt at the posts rang off the upright, but he would get an easier shot soon after to open the scoring.

He would miss another shot before the first breakthrough.

Flyhalf Benjamin Pattenden chipped over the defense and regathered, finding second row Rua Karimazondo in support. He in turn passed to trailing scrum half Panashe Zuze who sped away for the finish. Musingwini knocked over the conversion to make it 10-nil to the visitors.

A loose pass in the Canadian midfield went to ground and two quick passes later Ablant was speeding down the left side-line to score in the corner. Just three minutes later a turnover at the breakdown gave right winger Emmanuel Farawu 80 meters to stretch his legs and suddenly the Junior Sables were 20 points to the good.

The two sides went into the break with the Young Sables leading 20-7.

Canada were clearly the better side in the second half but Zimbabwe did well to hold on for a win.

Zimbabwe was invited to participate at the Canada International Rugby Series, a tournament organized by World Rugby for the sole purpose of giving next year’s Junior World Rugby Trophy participants the much-needed game time. In Canada, Zimbabwe will play two more games against Chile and Uruguay in the high-profile four-nation tourney slated for August 9 to August 24.

The series continues on Thursday when Zimbabwe take fellow victors, Uruguay. Canada will look for redemption against Chile, who lost their opening game against the Teritos.

CANADA u20: 1 Mehdi Porchet, 2 David Collon, 3 Tyler Matchem, 4 Logan Weidner, 5 Alastair Bruce, 6 Mathew Klimchuk, 7 Ethan Fryer, 8 Relmu Wilson-Valdes, 9 Sam Reimer, 10 Jamin Hodgkins, 11 Kobe Faust, 12 Talon McMullin, 13 Liam Bowman (capt.), 14 Takoda McMullin, 15 Ted Champion
Replacements: 16 Michael Di Lella, 17 Payton Teneycke, 18 Ethan Jurgeneit, 19 Caden Wilson, 20 Taine Clague, 21 Adam Doyle, 22 James Biss, 23 Jack East
ZIMBABWE u20: 1 Tanaka Ndoro, 2 Marlon Guwuriro, 3 Farai Madzima, 4 Tamuka Kambani, 5 Rua Karimazondo, 6 Denzel Maramba, 7 Andrew Rinomhota, 8 Tanaka Gondomukandapi, 9 Panashe Zuze, 10 Benjamin Pattenden, 11 Tavonga Ablant, 12 Alex Nyamunda , 13 Carl Kawodza, 14 Emmanuel Farawu, 15 Takudzwa Musingwini (capt.)
Replacements: 16 Takunda Mudzingwa, 17 Nqobile Manyara, 18 Martin Hakungavanhu, 19 Muzuva Gutu, 20 Tendai Chinyama, 21 Tanaka Ndabambi, 22 Dion Khumalo, 23 Tariro Tapfuma
Additional reporting from Americas Rugby news
— @innocentskizoe

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