Zimbabwe rugby team coach Brendan Dawson says he is pleased with the progress his team has made during their participation in the ongoing Currie Cup First Division.
The 54-year-old Dawson, a mainstay of rugby in Zimbabwe for over three decades, is coach of the local team playing in South Africa’s highly competitive second-tier domestic competition under the name Goshawks.
Although the Goshawks have lost their opening two matches the former Sables captain says what he has seen from his players during the early stages of the competition gives him confidence that they are on the right path.
“I’m pretty happy with where we are,” Dawson said after the latest game against Griffons in Bloemfontein.
“It was a very tough game against the Griffons, who are a really top-quality side. They are the current leaders on the (Currie Cup First Division) log and they’ve won the tournament for the last five years in a row, so they’re a top-quality outfit and they’ve been together for six months and we’ve only been together for two weeks. Comparing where we were and where we are now I’m really happy. A lot of positives came out from the game, probably a lot more positives than negatives,” he said.
The Goshawks side, which has been based in Cape Town since March kicked off their Currie Cup First Division campaign with a 34-10 loss against the Georgian outfit Black Lion two weeks ago.
At the weekend, Dawson’s charges squared off against the defending champions and pre-favourites Griffons and despite putting on a solid first-half display they succumbed to a 48-5 defeat in the rain-affected match which was played at the North West Stadium in Welkom.
Results, though, are not something Dawson is worried too much about as his main focus is trying different combinations in pursuit of the right mix for July’s World Cup qualifiers in France.
“I think the process we are working on is on building for our World Cup qualifiers and I think we are on the right path. The scoreline (against Griffons) is not a true reflection of where we are. At the moment we are not results-driven but process-driven and we want to build and make sure that we getting better every time we get on to the park,” he said.
Dawson said his charges, who have a bye this weekend, are looking forward to their next Currie assignment which will be an African derby against Kenya on April 23.
“We still have a lot of work to do going into the next match against Kenya which we will make sure we work on in the next two weeks We are very excited for the Kenyan game,” Dawson said.