Kenya 15s rugby national team coach Jerome Paarwater remains cautious of Zimbabwe as his charges take on the Sables in Bulawayo today in their fourth round of the ongoing six-nations Africa Gold Cup rugby tournament.
Paarwater sees a possible threat from the determined Sables at their homeground having registered a brave 26-31 score against the defending champions Namibia in Windhoek in a clash which Zimbabwe led from kick-off only to see a knock-on at death deny them an away win.
“Zimbabwe this season is in a much better form, we cannot underestimate them despite posting a good score over them last season. We have seen how they play so we know we are up for a tough task on Saturday but we are always ready for their challenge,” said Paarwater.
Kenya remains unbeaten in the Gold Cup tournament sitting second behind Namibia who clawed the Sables last weekend forcing the Simbas to go all out for Zimbabwe today to remain an inch closer to dethroning Namibia who are next on the radar as Paarwater remains focused on upsetting both hosts.
Coming off a 45-25 win over Senegal at the RFUEA grounds on July 15, Simbas now have their eyes fixed on the prize with only two matches standing in their way from dethroning Namibia to lift the African Gold Cup title.
The Sables come off a narrow 31-26 loss on a wintry Saturday evening, at Hage Geingob Rugby Stadium in Windhoek, Namibia as Kenya come off an “upsetting” win over Senegal here in Nairobi leaving Kenya as the favourite side in that clash having posted a 61-15 win over Zimbabwe in Harare last season.
As the 2017 Rugby Africa Gold Cup enters its fourth round Saturday, the story is taking shape as far as next year’s World Cup qualifiers are concerned after Rugby Afrique made adjustments to the qualifiers which will see 14 teams compete for one direct qualification spot into the final tournament, and one spot in the Repechage tournament.
Simbas vice-captain Darwin Mukidza bagged a hat-trick when Kenya clawed Senegal last weekend still leads the top points scorers chart in the tournament and will be a force to reckon with as his squad got bolstered by the inclusion of experienced Curtis Lilako at the start with Homeboyz forward Bramwell Bunyasi back after missing the first three rounds as speed star Jacob Ojee recovered from a rib injury.
Commenting on the team’s preparations, Simbas assistant coach Dominique Habimana noted that a few of their alarming errors this season have been corrected ahead of the match.
“We have rectified a few areas of concern as we are working towards a faster and a more positive game on Saturday,” said Habimana.