SABLES coach Brendan Dawson reserved special comments for three players who made their full Test debut in the Victoria Cup rugby win over Uganda at Harare Sports Club on Saturday.
Zimbabwe cemented their place at the summit of the four-team log after they laboured to a 32-26 victory over the battling Cranes who were physically imposing but technically faulty.
In a game the hosts had to draw every trick in the book to survive a late scare before Dudlee White-Shapley’s boot ensured full points at the death, Dawson was particularly impressed by the trio of Dylan Grogan, Saope Soko and Royal Mwale.
The forwards came as replacements for Cameron Harris, Takudzwa Chieza and Matthew Mcnab who were all ruled out of the crunch tie through injury.
Blithe Mavesere’s try converted by skipper Hilton Mudariki and Keith Murray’s unconverted try had seen the Sables go for the break leading 15-12.
Though the Cranes forced Zimbabwe to commit errors near their try-line with Phillip Wokorach dominating in the early stages of the second half, forcing the scores level at one point driving the packed Machinery Exchange arena into silence, Zimbabwe still managed to nail it.
Godfrey Muzanargwo and Matthew Mandioma would soon plant tries in quick succession both converted by White-Shapley to keep out the Cranes whose coach Robert Sseguda would shed tears at the sound of the final whistle. For now, Dawson can breathe easy though his troops have a mammoth battle in unfamiliar Kenyan and Zambian territory as the marathon enters the home stretch. Herald