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The Old Mutual Junior Sables got off to a losing start at the Under-18 Coca-Cola Craven Week when they went down by five points to the Griquas Country Districts at Paul Roos Gymnasium here yesterday.

Just like they did against the same opposition at the tournament last year, Zimbabwe led their South African opponents for most parts of the game only to surrender right at the end.

The Junior Sables scored two tries, one conversion while Griquas Country Districts managed three tries and one conversion.

Despite their loss, the Zimbabwean juniors put up a great defensive display to keep the Griquas Country Districts at bay for most parts of the match.

Flyhalf Benjamin Meredith, outstanding throughout the match, found the breakthrough for Zimbabwe with 21 minutes played, bursting through to score a try through the left side of the attack with his conversion kick making it 7-0 to the Junior Sables.

Zimbabwe did create some try scoring opportunities before the end of the first 35 minutes but did not put them to good use which saw them lead 7-0 going into the break. After great pressure, Griquas Country Districts got their first try after the break through hooker Dick Taliesen with the conversion kick missed by centre Adri du Plessis.

Fullback Tarisai Mapfumo picked up Zimbabwe’s second try when he chased through a grubber kick from Meredith to plant the ball over the line.

Zimbabwe U18 … … … … … … … … … … ..(7) 12

Griquas Country Districts U18… … … … … (0) 17

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