Port Elizabeth — THE Zimbabwe Under-18 rugby side is hoping for an improved showing in this year’s edition of the Coca-Cola Craven Week rugby festival that got underway at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium here yesterday.
Zimbabwe will take on Border Country Districts in their opening game of the festival, which will also be the first game of the day at 9am today.
Zimbabwe beat Border CD in last year’s edition of the festival in Kimberly, but they do not have any player from last year’s side while Border CD have four from last year’s squad and also have another three who played at the Grant Knomo Under-16 festival last year.
This, according to coach Godwin “Jaws” Murambiwa, makes them the underdogs going into this morning’s game as his current crop of players have no experience in such tournaments, but still, he believes they will come out with a win.
“Uncompromisingly, we have to win the game, play the way we want to because we should not allow the opposition to determine the pace for us, we don’t have to play their game.
“If we get penalties within reach, we will definitely go for posts because we want to make those points count and cumulatively at the end of the day, we have a solid platform.
“There are a lot of new players in this team given that they are all playing at the Craven Week for the first time and none of them was part of the team that played in Kimberly last year. So with that in mind, we are underdogs going into this game, I hope that the boys would not be too shell-shocked because a win in the first game is always going to be a morale booster for them and works well for the psychology part of the game.”
Murambiwa feels that if the side is to win the game, then they will have to shut out the Border CD attack and Zimbabwe have to make sure they stick to their set game plan and go for the points when they are within kicking range.
“We also hope to capitalise on speed because we know that for sure our next game is going to be a tough one for us, but a win there would give the boys confidence.
“That (psychology) is another area we had to work strongly with the boys and I hope they will respond, after all Border (CD) is a provincial team we are Zimbabwe.”
Zimbabwe Starting XV
Justin Mavimba, Alex Zwart, Brandon Scheepers, John Burnett, Harry Roche, Shepherd Mhembere, Daniel Moolman, Leroy Sibanda (captain), Takudzwa Chakaengesu, Fungai Mandivenga,BAstien Mendelson, Ian Watson, Dale Gibson, Glen Hutchings, Russel Walder.
Article source: http://allafrica.com/stories/201207111121.html