Ontario – Another fine display of running rugby earned Zimbabwe a 43-35 win over Chile in u20 action at Guelph University on Tuesday. It secured a second overall finish for the Junior Sables in the four-team series hosted by Canada.
Tavonga Ablant was the star of the show with two tries and several scintillating runs to cap an impressive three games for the speedster.
The first try was a mix of ingenuity and luck from Chile. Tomás Álvarado chipped over the line from the base of a ruck with Manuel Bustamante at a full sprint. Zimbabwe’s cover was out of sorts and the bounce was cruel, landing instead in the hands of Bustamante for an opportunistic try. Damián Fliegel had the easiest of conversions to make it a full seven.
Benjamin Pattenden would miss a penalty attempt before Zimbabwe got on the board. Ablant injected pace to made ground on the left side, and the ball was switched back to the right. Panashe Zuze went straight to Marlon Guwuriro as first receiver and the front rower showed impressive acceleration to round his opposite and sprint clear for the try.
A turnover in Chilean territory saw the Junior Sables take the lead. Pattenden passed to Alex Nyamunda in space and the powerful center bashed through two tackles to within a meter of the line. Zuze was at the breakdown quickly and fired a flat cutout pass to Liberty Sibanda who tiptoed down the sideline to score in the corner.
Just a couple minutes later Iñaki Tuset looked for all money to be in for a try as he burst onto an offload from Ignacio Soublette. The winger crossed the line but a superb cover tackle from Andrew Rinomhota knocked the ball loose moments before it could be grounded. Chile would get their score anyway before halftime as Soublette touched down on the back of a pushover scrum.
The Junior Cóndores stretched their lead early in the second half. After the forwards worked their way ahead, Juan Noriega took a short pass and used his footwork to slide in under the defense. It took no time for a response, however, as the Sables went from right to left, and back to the right before Pattenden sold a dummy and crossed for the try.
Soublette got a double and again it was off the back of a dominant scrum, though this time he had more work to do. Again Zimbabwe had an immediate reply, and it came through their danger-man Ablant. Starting on the 22-meter line, he slipped past two would-be tacklers and wriggled out of the grasp of two more before touching down for a wonderful individual effort.
Not to be outdone by the winger, Carl Kawodza was next to dazzle on a scorching 60-meter outside break that saw him fly past four defenders before rounding the corner. Pattenden’s conversion grabbed the lead back, and this time the Sables would not relinquish it.
The pressure stayed on and after an Ablant line break, Soublette was dispatched to the sin bin for cynical play at the breakdown. Zimbabwe tapped quickly and the ball was spun wide where none other than Ablant was waiting for his second try of the game and sixth of the series.
Just a minute later Álvarado sparked a counter-attack try from Fliegel that brought the Cóndores back to within one point, but the final saw would to go the Sables. A knock-on turned over possession, and Tanaka Ndoro broke from the back of the scrum. His second effort moments later was enough to breach the line with Pattenden’s kick bringing on the final whistle.
Tries – M. Bustamante (9′), I. Soublette 2 (40′, 62′), J. Noriega (44′), D. Fliegel (77′)
Cons – D. Fliegel 5/5 (10′, 40’+1′, 45′, 63′, 78′)
YC – I. Soublette (75′)
Tries – M. Guwuriro (23′), L. Sabanda (34′), B. Pattenden (47′), A. Ablant 2 (64′, 75′), C. Kawodza (71′), T. Ndoro (80′)
Cons – B. Pattenden 4/7 (48′, 72′, 76′, 80’+1′)
Pens – B. Pattenden 0/1
1 Joaquín Castro, 2 Simón Donoso, 3 Marco López, 4 Martín Pizarro, 5 Jaime Paredes, 6 Franco Constantino, 7 Dante Marchesse, 8 Ignacio Soublette, 9 Tomás Álvarado (capt.), 10 Manuel Bustamante, 11 Franco Scassi Buffa, 12 Juan Noriega, 13 Álvaro Castro, 14 Iñaki Tuset, 15 Damián Fliegel
Replacements: 16 Manuel Harttig, 17 Norman Aguayo, 18 Ignacio González, 19 Andrés Kuzmanic, 20 Joaquín Borquez, 21 Benjamín Sandoval, 22 Federico Contreras, 23 Pedro Jaramillo
1 Marlon Guwuriro, 2 Tawanda Banda, 3 Nqobile Manyara, 4 Rua Karimazondo, 5 Simbarashe Siraha, 6 Andrew Rinomhota, 7 Tendai Chinyama, 8 Tamuka Kambani, 9 Panashe Zuze, 10 Benjamin Pattenden, 11 Liberty Sibanda, 12 Alex Nyamunda, 13 Carl Kawodza, 14 Tavonga Ablant, 15 Takudzwa Musingwini (capt.)
Replacements: 16 Takunda Mudzingwa, 17 Farai Madzima, 18 Martin Hakunavanhu, 19 Tanaka Ndoro, 20 Denzel Maramba, 21 Tanaka Ndabambi, 22 Tariro Tapfuma, 23 Simbarashe Kanyangarara
Referee: Julianne Zussman (Canada)