Zambia Hammers Nigeria

Nigeria 20 – Zambia 30

ZAMBIA shrugged off the ‘underdogs’ tag as they produced a spirited performance to silence a highly rated Nigeria in their opening match at the ongoing Confederation of Africa Rugby (CAR) Africa Cup Group 1C match in Botswana.

The match played at the University of Botswana Stadium saw Andrew Mwape score a brace of tries with Ferdinand Kashimoto, MacDonald Mashawa and Robert Chilundami scoring a try each as Terry Kaushiku could only manage one conversion and a drop goal to seal the victory.

The win, however, came at a cost for 15’s national team as Miyanda Malambo sustained a cut on his upper right eye to be ruled out of tomorrow’s clash against Mauritius.

Zambia 15’s team coach Innocent Sakala said in an interview from Gaborone yesterday that Zambia’s win had sent shock waves to the opponents’ camp adding that it was a morale booster for the team to sail through to the finals and clinch qualification to Group 1B.

“I am very happy with the result, the game was very tough knowing the kind of opponent we were facing but the players accounted themselves well and delivered a positive result for the country.

Winning the first game during a tournament is always important and for us, it has lifted the team spirit to achieve better results and everyone in camp is focused to deliver,” he said.

The veteran trainer said the coaching bench has made necessary adjustments following the injury to Malambo with Alex Kanyinga lined up to fill the void.

And delegation leader Sam Simwanda said beating Nigeria was a clear indication that Zambia is a serious contender to win the championship.

Simwanda said the morale in the Zambian camp was high after the win and that the players are determined to return home with the trophy.

“We can do well this time around and I am sure everyone knows that we are a good side that will compete favourably. We are no longer underdogs and our aim is to come back home with a cup,” he said.

Source : The Times of Zambia

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