By Lawrence Trusida, Sports Editor
The Zimbabwe Fifteens Rugby team, the Sables are through to the semi-finals of the Rugby Africa Cup after beating Côte d’Ivoire 38-11 in a 2022 Rugby Africa Cup quarter-final encounter in Marseille, France last night.
After Côte d’Ivoire stormed to an early lead through two penalties, the Sables simply had too much power, aggression and precision and went into the break with a comfortable 16-6 lead through tries by Matthew McNab and Shayne Makombe, in addition to two penalties by skipper Hilton Mudariki.
The Sables continued their dominance with Makombe dotting over for his second try barely five minutes into the second half before Mudariki slotted home the conversion.
Cote D’Ivoire however hit back with their only try of the match through Alexandre Pelati, although lack of discipline proved to be their biggest undoing.
Fullback, Tapiwa Mafura, who was impressive in attack and defence, slotted home the extras to seal an impressive win for the Sables.
Zimbabwe will now meet their fierce rivals Namibia in a potentially explosive semi-final on Wednesday after the Welwitschias defeated Burkina Faso 71-5 in an earlier quarter-final match at the same venue.
The competition continues this Saturday with Kenya playing Uganda, while Senegal clash against Algeria in the last match of the day.
The winner between Kenya and Uganda will take on Senegal or Algeria in the other semi-final on Wednesday.
This year’s Africa Cup is also doubling up as the continent’s qualifying tournament for the 2023 Rugby World Cup.