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THE Young Sables got off to a losing start at this year’s Under-18 Coca-Cola Craven Week, going down by 13 points to Eastern Province Country Districts, in a high-scoring match at High Technical School Middelburg, in Middelburg, South Africa yesterday.

Seven tries, five conversions and three penalty goals for EP Country Districts saw them overpower Zimbabwe who recorded six tries, four conversions and one penalty goal.

EP Country Districts were the first on the scoresheet with two minutes played, first centre Cameron Hertz with the three points when he booted in a penalty goal after Zimbabwe were penalised for not releasing in a tackle situation.

Flank Ethan September took full aantage of a huge overlap on the right side of the Zimbabwe defence to score the first try for EP Country Districts with Hertz kicking in the conversion.

Zimbabwe had their first points on the board, scrumhalf Campbell Nyakudya kicking a penalty after EP Country Districts were caught offside.

The Young Sables conceded a penalty straight away, eighth man Daniel Nyamugama nabbed for a high tackle, Hertz booting in the penalty to put his side 11-3 ahead.

EP Country Districts had their second try, scrumhalf Craig Williams going over after a fine move by the team’s backline only for Hertz to miss the conversion.

Flyhalf Joshua Shelly scored the third try for EP Country Districts, with Hertz booting in the conversion kick to put his team 25-3 ahead.

It was raining tries as EP Country Districts soon had their fourth try from loose-head prop Xandre Vos, Hertz again adding the extra two points with a successful conversion kick.

Fullback Bradley Christian scored the fifth try for EP Country Districts, slicing through the Zimbabwe defence to plant the ball over the line and Hertz converted.

Zimbabwe reduced the arrears with two quick tries just before the break.

Falcon College winger Brian Mhuriyengwe with the first try for the Young Sables when he showed good composure, kicking forward, gathering the ball then sprinted through to score a try which was converted by Nyakudya.

Moments later, fellow winger Tawanda Ngosi was on the score-sheet, with a sprint of his own half to score, the conversion kicked over by Nyakudya.

After the break, EP Country Districts extended their lead with three minutes played, Hertz kicking in a long range penalty goal from near the halfway line.

Zimbabwe recorded their third try when lock forward Tinashe Gonese went over the line with Nyakudya successfully converting.

EP Country Districts soon had their sixth try, Christian with his second try of the match which was converted by Hertz.

Poor decision making from Nyakudya resulted in the seventh try for EP Country Districts, scored by tighthead prop Nicolaas Oosthuizen with the conversion kick missed by Hertz.

Skipper Stephen Bhasera created the fourth try for Zimbabwe when he made a brilliant run, offloaded to his Falcon College teammate, second centre Matthew Ushewokunze to score under the posts with Nyakudya converting.

EP Country Districts finished the match with 14 men on the park after lock forward Cristoffel Viljoen was shown a yellow card, sent to the sin bin for a dangerous tackle on Mhuriyengwe.

Ushewokunze soon had his second try only for Nyakudya to miss the conversion kick.

Ngosi also had his second try, going over on the left, Nyakudya’s conversion kick bouncing off the posts and not going in. The Godwin Murambiwa coached Young Sables, who are sponsored by Old Mutual, now wait to hear who their next opponents are for the second match on Wednesday.

Zimbabwe square off against Namibia in their final match of the tournament on Saturday.

Zimbabwe Under-18

Justin Mendelsohn, Lebogang Ngwenya, Stephen Bhasera(captain), Tinashe Gonese, Eli Snyman, Jeff Makoni, Cole Bond, Daniel Nyamugama, Campbell Nyakudya, Angus Bruce, Brian Mhuriyengwe, Matthew Ushewokunze, Dean McRoberts, Tawanda Ngosi, Tarisai Mapfumo

Replacements: Brian Muntanga, Bradley Crause, Ackim Sibanda, Muchineripi Mangenje, Ngoni Zinyama, Shaun Snyder, Tapiwa Mazorodze

Source : The Herald