Superb Zimbabwe wipe the floor with Kenya in Barthes Trophy final

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RUGBY: Superb Zimbabwe wipe the floor with Kenya in Barthes Trophy final

Abigael Wafula 18:35 - 30.04.2023

The highly contested match ended 28-7, with Zimbabwe leading the scores.

The Zimbabwe Under-20 national team floored Kenya 28-7 to successfully defend the Barthes Trophy title in the final match played at the Nyayo National Stadium on Sunday, April 30. 

The Zimbabwe junior national team alias junior Sables started off their campaign on a high note with a try score from Edward Sigauke and a successful conversion a few minutes into the match to place them seven points clear of Kenya.

Chipu had put up a good defense mechanism but the Zimbabweans' mind games were on another level. They were then awarded a penalty which called for a scrum but unfortunately, the Zimbabweans were a step ahead in terms of their defense.

The smooth passes between the junior Sables paid off well as Simbarashe Kanyangarara touched down again and the conversion was successful.

At the time, the scores read 14-0. The Kenyan youngsters had to dig deep to secure their first win as Laban Kipsang touched down and the conversion was successful.

The junior Sables then charged up again and scored a try through Alex Nyamunda as they successfully convert. The scoreboard now read 21-7 with the Zimbabweans leading the scores.

Chipu were then awarded another penalty and Kipsang fought hard to score another try but the junior Sables were keen on their defense. The referee blew the whistle for the Half Time and the scores read 21-7.

As they came back for the second half, both teams were going head-to-head against each other the ball possession among Chipu had notably improved. However, their attack mechanisms were still wanting. 

Unfortunately for Zimbabwe, Muzuva Gutu is slapped with a red card, and the defending champions were now reduced to 14 men with 32 minutes left. The junior Sables still looked quite comfortable despite the setback and dominated the field. 

Mike Wamalwa had the advantage to score but unfortunately kicked too far and lost, however, a penalty was awarded to Kenya after Wamalwa was wrongly pushed. 

In the 57th minute, the rain intensified and both teams found it difficult to maintain their good shape with the Kenyan team not being able to use their large number to their advantage.

With two minutes left, Sigauke put up a good fight and successfully touched down for Zimbabwe one more time but the try was disqualified by the referee. In the 79th minute, Sigauke then redeemed himself and touched down to place the score 26-7. Shadrack Mandaza successfully converted as the game ended 28-7.