Nairobi: A highly physical Zimbabwe booked their ticket to the 2022 finale of the U20 Barthes Trophy as they knocked out 2021 finalists Madagascar to set up a clash against rivals Namibia in the championship decider on Sunday.
In the second semi-final match played at the Nyayo National Stadium on Wednesday evening, the charging Zimbabweans outclassed Junior Makis 32-3 to give themselves a shot at the 2022 title.
Madagascar drop to the third and fourth place playoff where they will face Kenya Chipu who were knocked out by Namibia in the first last four.
As the match got underway, Madagascar threatened to cause trouble early on as they surged to a 3-0 lead with a converted penalty inside the opening two minutes from full back Elson Gabriel.
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Immediately though, Zimbabwe snatched the lead as the match winning in the quarterfinal against Tunisia Tanaka Gondomukandapi landed a quick brace to get his side to 10-3 as the conversion attempts just fell short.
As the game got to the half way interval, they kept the board ticking as Brendan Marume scored a penalty to help his side to a 13-3 lead at the break.
In the second half, ill-discipline came to haunt Madagascar as they took four yellow cards that made the Zimbabweans’ work a bit easy. This is even after Zimbabwe had been reduced to 14 men after one of their players was red carded for a foul tackle.
With numerical advantage, Zimbabwe added sixteen points via two unconverted tries by Takudzwa Musingwini and Tamuka Kambami in addition to two penalties to seal the 32-3 victory.
Zimbabwe will now face Namibia, who qualified for the Under-20 Rugby Africa Barthes Cup finals after defeating defending champions Kenya 16-5 in the earlier match at the Nyayo National Stadium.