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Zimbabwe Sables beat Zambia in friendly match

by Staff reporter
03 Jun 2021 at 06:53hrs | Views
Zimbabwe 31 8 Zambia
ZIMBABWE's Sables marked their return to competitive action with a victory over Zambia in a friendly international rugby match at Harare Sports Club yesterday.

Newboy Doug Juszcyk, who plies his trade in New Zealand, was the hero of the hosts, with three tries. Ahead of the match, he had posted a powerful message, on his Facebook page.

"Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet," he wrote. "Tomorrow (yesterday) I get to lace up and wear the @zimbabwesables jersey, and run out on the field to represent the country I was born and raised in.

"Something I never thought would be a reality, a dream I had, but thought would never be realised. Life works in mysterious ways, as long as you stay true to who you are and what you want things tend to work out the way they're meant to.

"Keep grinding, because you never know what's around the corner.''

The Sables, playing as the President's XV, were featuring in their first competitive match in 20 months.

The two friendlies against the Zambians are meant to help the Sables prepare for the 2021 Rugby Africa Cup matches, against Tunisia, next month. Zimbabwe took the lead, in the 13th minute, through another newboy, Brandon Mudzekenyedze, after a good build-up, which opened the Zambian defence.

Juszcyk, then came to punish the Zambians, in the 28th and 35th minutes, with tries as the hosts led 24-0 at the break.

He scored the only try for his team, after the breather, in a half in which the visitors improved and managed to get their first points in the 76th minute.

The Zimbabwe Rugby Union have arranged friendlies to give their team some game time ahead of international assignments.

SmartAfro Grocery online company have come in to support the women's game in Zimbabwe as companies flock back into the ZRU fold. The firm sponsored the Zimbabwe Women's Rugby Sables team ahead of their two-part friendly battles against their Zambian counterparts.

Yesterday, the rugby festival started with the Under-20 sides, with the hosts beating their Zambian opponents, 46-8.

In the second match, the Zambian women's team, beat their Zimbabwean counterparts, 31-22. Sables coach, Brendan Dawson, said he is happy with the progress and hopes the level of fitness will improve.

"Massive win, the guys did well and they complemented each other well, I hope we will continue to improve, especially on our match fitness. The guys played like they have known each other for a long time, despite some of them being new, to the team.

"I am now looking forward to the weekend game and I believe we will work on some weakness we noticed during today's match."

Juszcyk, who made his debut for the Sables, said he was happy to be part of his new family.

"It is a dream come true, I always longed to play for my country and, when the opportunity presented itself, I welcomed it with both hands,'' he said.

"I think it's the beginning of much bigger things to come and I hope the good start will determine how I will perform in the next coming games, if given the chance."

Source - the herald

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