Story by Lawrence Trusida, Sports Editor
ZIMBABWE lost to Scotland 64-33 in the first match of the World Rugby Under20 Junior World Trophy played at the Nyayo National Stadium in Nairobi, Kenya, this Saturday.
In a classic game of two halves, Scotland ran out comfortable winners against Zimbabwe in the opening game of the tournament.
However, a five-try second-half burst from the Junior Sables ensured the tournament favourites did not have it all their way.
Making their first appearance in the tournament after being relegated from the World Rugby U20 Championship in 2019, Scotland ran in 10 tries against the Junior Sables, whose last appearance came on home soil in 2016.
It took Scotland just three minutes to open the scoring, capitalising on a turnover on halfway to move the ball wide to scrum-half Ben Afshar, who showed a good turn of pace to touch down and the Scots continued to pummel the Young Sables until half-time.
Zimbabwe, finally got on the scoresheet in the 53rd minute when hooker Bryan Chiang broke away and stretched over for the first try.
Zimbabwe then scored three more tries in quick succession.
First, winger Edward Sigauke took advantage of slick hands and great running lines in midfield then Leo Mutendi and Tawanda Matipano finished length-of-the-field moves to send wild the small but vocal Zimbabwe support.
Normal service was resumed when Scotland intercepted another Zimbabwe counter-attack for Ben Salmon to score.
Replacement Shadreck Mandaza responded with a joyful diving finish after forcing a Scotland mistake with his kick ahead.
Young Sables coach Shaun de Souza blamed nerves for the defeat.
“The guys started nervously and gave them too much respect, but second half we told them to go and okay their game and you saw what happened. The guys were now panicking when we started spreading the ball, but it was too late. We are learning at this stages and we have learnt how to start a match,” said de Souza.
Zimbabwe next take on Uruguay on Thursday needing nothing short of victory to stay in contention.
The winner of the tournament will qualify for the World Rugby Championship.