Four tests, four losses: De Villiers on the ropes

By Wellington Toni

BULAWAYO – AFTER yet another crushing defeat, and possible relegation,
Zimbabwe rugby team coach Peter de Villiers says people must look at
his start with the South African Springboks before they judge him
after the Sables crashed to a 58-28 defeat to Namibia at Hartsfield
Rugby Ground on Saturday.
Next up is Uganda in the relegation play-off in Uganda in August 18
and can the next 80 minutes of this match be enough for de Villiers to
turn the corner and save the Sables from second tier African rugby?
He believes so.
“We have brought in some systems, which (I think) is really very good
for going forward. As I just said, when I started coaching the
Springboks, I almost lost all the games in 2008 and in 2009 we won the
tri-nations and beat the Lions in the other series,” he said after the
Saturday loss.
“The players know that there’s still one game to go, I know that the
crowds are despondent, I know we are not happy because of the result
on the scoreboard, but we understand that we are professionals and we
have to go and do another job,” he said.
“The next game is the most important game. Today was about small
victories. When we couldn’t make it anymore and the small victory was
to get one bonus point from this game as we had planned it and we got
it.
“We’ve got a few injuries now and we have to assess them and look at
how good they are to go. If not then bring some other boys in, but
there’s one job to be done. We’re not gonna allow anything to affect
us and we just have to do the job because next year is still coming
and we want to be there to go rectify all our mistakes this year.”
Namibia scored nine tries through winger Sethie Desiderius, tight-head
prop Wian Conradie, flank Pieter-Jan Venter, substitute flank Tjuuee
Uanivi, flanker Janco Venter, replacement scrum-half Damian Stevens,
left winger Lesley Klim as well as captain and flanker Johan Deysel.
The Sables earned a bonus through tries by outstanding flank Connor
Pritchard as well as lively left winger Tafadzwa Chitokwindo, right
winger Shayne Makombe and substitute hooker Matthew Mandioma.
Giving an assessment of the game, de Villiers blamed inexperience
forhis charges’ loss and too many errors.
“We let in some easy tries. We have never had a good start, we give
away easy tries at the beginning of the game and then we have to play
catch up from that point. Again that comes down to that experience,”
he said.

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