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Fagan boost for Goshawks

15 May, 2022 - 00:05 0 Views
Fagan boost for Goshawks

The Sunday Mail

Deputy Sports Editor

ZIMBABWE’S Goshawks, who are seeking to continue with their new-found momentum, have been boosted by the arrival of Spain-based forward Tyran Fagan ahead of their Currie Cup First Division rugby clash against Border Bulldogs in Cape Town, South Africa, today.

Fagan had been expected to join the squad later in the tournament, but in a welcome development for coach Brendan Dawson, he came ahead of schedule, having joined his teammates earlier last week.

He has since been drafted into the match-day side.

Dawson, who is using the tournament to fine-tune his side for the much tougher Rugby Africa Cup in France in July, is also expecting the pair of wingers Shingi Katsvere and Matthew McNab this week.

The Goshawks have won their last two assignments after getting off to a rough start.

Those two victories over the Kenya Simbas (21-20) and another close 23-22 win over Boland Kavaliers have been key in boosting the confidence and morale in their camp.

Speaking from Cape Town, team manager Jason Maritz, however, said forward Gabriel Sipapate had a slight strain during Thursday’s afternoon training session and has been ruled out of today’s assignment.

Sipapate has been replaced by Bornwell Gwinji at the tight-head prop position.

The Goshawks face back-to-back Currie Cup assignments inside a week, starting with this afternoon’s match against the Bulldogs, after which they will meet SWD in four days’ time.

The Zimbabwe camp was a hive of activity in the lead-up to today’s match, what with the team starting to gel and results coming their way.

Given that Zimbabwe will likely square up against Kenya at the Africa Cup, the triumph over the Simbas was indeed key for Dawson and his men.

Victory over Boland Kavaliers was also made sweeter by the fact that it is the team’s first victory against a South African provincial side in 26 years.

The significance of those wins was not lost on the pair of eighthman Aiden Burnett and forward Matthew Mandioma.

“Kenya are a fantastic team and the win over them gave us a lot of confidence in the foundations that we had been putting in week in and week out,” said Burnett.

“We look forward to our next encounter against them in the Rugby Africa Cup, but for now we just want to learn, grow and progress week by week during the Currie Cup competition.”

Burnett, the England-based forward, was handed the captain’s armband during last weekend’s victory over Boland, and he also spoke about the vibe in the camp.

“Our overall performance has been great.

“While we didn’t get the results we wanted in the first two games, we did put in a pretty good shift.

“While the Black Lions and the Griffons have been together for a very long time, it was really good to see the boys accept the challenge and show up during the games.

“Against Kenya, it was a different mind-set, as they are one of our biggest rivals, and we switched on.

“Taking that momentum into the game against Boland was pretty good to see.”

His sentiments were echoed by Mandioma, who also warned against complacency heading into the next two games.

“I think we started the camp slow in terms of our games, but we have been steadily building a lot of momentum,” said Mandioma.

“After having been around the Sables system for a while now, the preparation we have got and continue to get is second to none.

“We have got professional training programmes, in-depth game analysis (on and off the field) and obviously a consistent run of games which we have always struggled to get.

“The Kenya win was massive for us; it was a great test, especially when you consider the fact that they are also vying to qualify for the World Cup.”

He added that they were now bullish ahead of today’s tie.

 

Goshawks squad

 

Starting XV:

Victor Mupunga, Brian Muntanga, Bornwell Gwinji, George Saungweme, Godwin Mangenje, Biselele Tshamala, Sean Beevor, Nyasha Tarusenga, Hilton Mudariki, Takudzwa Musingwini, Tavonga Ablant, Marcus Nel, Shayne Makombe, Russell Dinha, Conor Kennedy

 

Replacements:

Liam Larkan, Matthew Mandioma, Tyran Fagan, Kelvin Kanenungo, Aiden Burnett, Carlos Matematema, Keith Chiwara, Taku Chieza

 

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