Mehluli Sibanda, Senior Sports Reporter
THE Zimbabwe Under-18 girls rugby team finished unbeaten at this year’s South African Rugby Under-18 Girls Week when they defeated South Western Districts 31-10 in their final match at Jeppe High School in Johannesburg yesterday.
Coached by Nsikelelo Sibanda, the Old Mutual Zimbabwe girls were placed second overall in the tournament after Western Province despite the fact that the girls endured a long journey by bus from Harare to Johannesburg.
The girls captained by lock, Nyasha Gonangombe, started off the tournament brightly when they came back from 12-0 down to overpower KwaZulu-Natal 26-12 on Tuesday and followed up that win with a 5-5 draw against Blue Bulls two days later before they took care of SWD in their last match of the tournament.
Yesterday, Zimbabwe were on fire in the first half, with four tries in quick succession to ease into a strong 31-0 lead at the break.
The Eagles played much better in the second half and pulled two tries back, but Zimbabwe kept their heads to win.
Sibanda said his players worked really hard to finish the tournament unbeaten as they got to gel as the festival progressed.
“It feels great, the girls worked hard and they gelled as a team,” Sibanda said.
When he arrives today, Sibanda is going straight into another national team camp as he takes charge of the Zimbabwe Under-20 who are gearing up to face their South African counterparts in two matches at Prince Edward School on Wednesday and Saturday.
Meanwhile, the Zimbabwe Under-14 and Under-17 boys teams yesterday left the country for South Africa for their respective Youth Weeks in White River, Mpumalanga.
The Maxwell Madziva-coached Under-14 are taking part in the Under-13 Coca-Cola Craven Week while the Under-17, under the mentorship of Marvin Chirume are participating in the Under-16 Coca-Cola Grant Khomo Week.
Both tournaments are taking place at the Hoërskool Rob Ferreira High School. — @Mdawini_29