The Sunday Mail
YOUNG Sables gaffer Brendon Brider has warned his charges against complacency when they kick-off their Under-20 World Rugby Trophy campaign next week.
The Under-20 side is fresh off a successful tour of South Africa where they mauled University of Johannesburg 74-12, then had a successful control friendly against Old Georgians.
However, Brider believes there is still a lot of work to be done before Zimbabwe is ready and as such warned his charges to maintain a level head.
“You know it is very difficult to get the boys together, what with so many boys coming from different universities, but the preparations have been going on very well,” said Brider.
“We now have almost everyone in camp here with us, with the exception of maybe five foreign-based players who are wrapping up their exams.
“Those that are in camp look to be in fine form; we had a good tour of South Africa beating UJ 74-12 and the boys looked really good during our match against OGs.
“It was a controlled practice game and so the results didn’t really matter, but the boys followed instructions well and the drills we have been working on look to be paying dividends.
“That said, there are a couple areas that we still need to work on, particularly the scrums and defending.
“Luckily, we have about a week and a half to work on that,’ he said.
Zimbabwe head into the tournament slated for April 19-May 1 as underdogs after being placed in group A alongside the highly experienced and well-travelled Uruguay, Samoa and Fiji.
All three are seasoned campaigners on the international scene and come into this tournament with a wealth of experience having been consistent participants in both the Junior World Rugby Trophy and the top tier Under-20 Junior World Rugby Championship.
However, Brider remains optimistic in his charges’ ability to mount a decent challenge against all three, provided they execute game plans well and maintain their concentration.
“The Samoans are definitely going to be a big bunch, I believe one of their biggest strengths is their size and agility, and so we have to be solid.
“Fiji and Uruguay both play the running game and so we have to have counters for all those things if we are to be successful,” he said.