Tadious Manyepo, Harare Bureau
ZIMBABWE’S Sables had to wait for the re-appointment of coach Brendan Dawson to win a trophy again – seven years after he last delivered one for them.
The Sables won the Victoria Cup in Lusaka on Saturday, the same trophy they won under Dawson in 2012.
Dawson’s troops were full value for their triumph as they put Zambia to the sword with a commanding 45-5 win to take home the Victoria Cup.
The tournament, last held almost a decade ago, has been revived to take the space created by the absence of the Africa Gold Cup, whose sponsors withdrew at the last minute.
That the Sables are yet to taste defeat in a four-team tournament, which also features Kenya and Uganda, speaks volumes of the work Dawson has put in since taking charge.
The team had struggled under the chaotic leadership of former Springboks coach, Peter De Villiers in the Africa Gold Cup last year.
Rarely have the Sables spent an entire tournament without losing a single match.
Dawson is determined to complete that feat with a win against Kenya on Saturday.
The team isn’t breaking camp as they prepare for their last match in Nairobi.
Sables manager, Jason Maritz, said they were losing nothing to chance ahead of that game.
“Look, victory is always important, we managed to beat Zambia, the team played extremely well,’’ he said.
‘‘The defence was rock solid but, in a few years to come, I think Zambia will be a force to reckon with.
‘‘The victory means we keep the momentum. It’s now five wins on the trot.
“We should have that winning culture, it is a very good thing for the team. We just have to keep building on the foundation that we have started.
“We are chasing another win in Kenya.’’
Meanwhile, the Cheetahs, the national 7s side, will have an opportunity to gauge their strength before heading for the Africa Cup in South Africa in November.
They have invited to participate at the Safari Sevens tournament in Kenya next month.
The tournament, sponsored by Kenya Breweries, will see teams from South Africa, Uganda, Spain, Russia and France taking part.
The Cheetahs failed to make an impression at the annual Zambia International Series a fortnight ago.
Crucially, the Africa Cup will also double as the Tokyo 2020 Olympic qualifiers.