The Zimbabwe senior rugby team will be seeking to continue their winning momentum in the Currie Cup First Division when they face a wounded Border Bulldogs side at the Sisa Dukashe stadium in Mdantsane, Eastern Cape, South Africa on Sunday.
The Zimbabwean outfit, who are competing in South Africa’s second-tier domestic competition as the Goshawks are on a two-match winning streak after securing hard-fought wins against Kenya Simbas (22-21) and Boland Cavaliers (23-22) in their last two matches.
Loose forward Aiden Burnett, who captained the Goshawks in their last gasp win against Boland Cavaliers last Saturday, said he was impressed by the manner the team responded in the second half after a nervy start to the match.
“It was a great game, the first half was a little bit edgy but second half I thought the boys came back, firing, to get that win is a massive thing leading up to the World Cup qualifiers,’’ Burnett said.
Now with the focus on the next match against Border, Burnett is anticipating another tough challenge despite the Eastern Cape-based outfit’s difficult start to the campaign.
Zimbabwe last played against Border Bulldogs three years ago in a SuperSport Rugby Challenge match which they lost 41-16.
“We always train to win; this is our pre-season before the World Cup qualifiers so mistakes will be made but we always looking to go forward,” Burnett said.
“Playing against Border this weekend, they haven’t had the best season but it should be a hard game. I know the last time we played them we came out second best so (this time) we are going out there as underdogs but we feeling very confident,’’ Burnett said.
Hardworking tight head prop Bornwell Gwinji, who put up a man of the match display against Boland believes the Goshawks now have the fitness and confidence to win matches after spending several weeks in camp.
“The game (against Boland) was very tough and fast but we managed to win, we believe we now fit and confident enough to win and take on these other coming teams,’’ Gwinji said.
He is looking forward to the next challenge against Border.
“It’s a good thing we are having a new challenge, we are looking forward to playing Border and hopefully we going to scrum well, carry hard and win the game,’’ the steely front-rower said.
The Goshawks are eighth on the log with eight points from the opening four rounds of matches.
The Zimbabwean outfit endured a difficult start to the campaign with back to back defeats against Georgian side Black Lion (34-10) and log leaders Down Touch Griffons (48-5) at the beginning of April but have bounced back to win their last two matches.
Zimbabwe Goshawks Squad to Face Border Bulldogs: Starting – (1-15) – V Mupunga, B Muntanga, G Sipapate, G Saungwene, G Mangenje, B Tshamala, S Beevor, N Tarusenga, H Mudariki (captain), T Musingwini, T Ablant, M Nel, S Makombe, R Dinha, C Kennedy
Replacements: L Larkan, M Mandioma, B Gwinji, K Kanenungo, A Burnett, C Matematema, K Chiwara, T Chieza
DOWN TOUCH GRIFFONS