The Sables have had quite a forgettable tournament this year under former Springboks coach Peter De Villiers. The team is yet to bag a win, and they find themselves in the most sticky of situations on the final weekend of games.
While Kenya will be fighting against Namibia for an automatic world cup slot and bragging rights as conquerors of the Gold Cup; Tunisia, Morocco and Zimbabwe face their own battles to evade the blade that will chop one of them back to the Rugby Africa Silver cup.
Zimbabwe travel to Kampala having amassed 3 points, just like Morocco and will have a hard challenge facing a pumped up and improved Ugandan outfit in front of their home faithful. The record of the Sables in Uganda isn’t something they like to even talk about, having lost last year to the Cranes at the Legends Rugby Grounds and their sevens side losing in the Africa 7s final to Uganda as well in Kampala – this makes Uganda not the most favoured of destinations for the Southern Africans especially under current circumstances.
The Sables are win less in 4 games with one last shot to salvage their stay in the Gold cup next year; anything less than a win means that Zimbabwe doesn’t have fate in their own hands and have to rely on lady luck to steer other results in their favour. A win would propel them to at least 7 points which would surely guarantee their stay, anything less could be tragic for Peter De Villiers’ troops.
The Rugby Cranes have other ideas as well, having secured third place with back to back wins for the East Africans, Zimbabwe presents an opportunity for the Cranes to do the following – make it three out of the last three, avoid losing at home in the Gold cup this year, another chance to build the team for the future, providing gloss on the Gold cup log and possibly a rise further up the World rugby rankings.
Zimbabwe are expected to jet into Uganda sometime today (Wednesday) in preparation for what is a do or die match up in their eyes. According to the Chronicle; Zim captain, Denford Mutamangira insisted that Uganda’s triumph against Morocco was not a cause for worry in the Sables camp – ” …….we have looked at how they (Uganda) managed to score their tries and we have to ensure that we don’t give the ball away”
Denford continued to say that the group has been positive ever since they lost to Namibia and have studied Uganda to the dot on top of having the right preparations to ready them for a very big encounter come Saturday.
Uganda will probably know its match day 23 by the time the Sables settle into their hotel but not a lot of change is expected from John Duncan and his technical team. The majority of the boys that played against Morocco will be featuring again although the bench often springs up a few surprises here and there.