Zimbabwe beat the United States of America 38-37 on Tuesday in the World Rugby Under-20 Trophy, to finish the group stage on a high following defeats to the Scotland and Uruguay. The Junior Sables now face hosts Kenya in the 5th place play-off. Here is a reaction from Zimbabwe head coach Shaun De Souza:

We’ll take the win (against the US), coming from behind. With the wholesale changes I made to the starting line-up, there was a plan to that. I just needed to get the fringe players to get a run, and give there all in the first 40, keep the scoreboard ticking. Today we played a different style of game. It’s something we have in our arsenal. During the camp we had a kicking coach, and I think today it paid dividends. The plan was to play Test match in the first half, and open up in the second half. Unfortunately we just lost a bit of momentum wen the US started putting points on the board. But ja, we then composed ourselves. I actually wanted to put the bomb squad in earlier, but I just decided to settle the nerves because we were on the backfoot, and the bomb squad came on and did what we had planned. So it’s exciting when the plan comes together. We had never won against the US, it’s a brilliant win for Zimbabwe, a third world country beating a first world country. What a feeling for the boys, I think the boys are so excited and ja, we go to the fifth place play-off on Sunday. We go to the drawing board, it will probably be between Hong Kong or Kenya.

So conformation is that we will be playing Kenya. So what a nail-biting fixture. An all-Africa affair, a bit of rivalry between the two. We’ve taken the Barthes title (Africa Cup) from Kenya over the last two years, on their home soil. So ja, they have a lot of prove. We’ve proud to play for, so the boys have to dig deep. We will go to the drawing board, work on strategies, they obviously know how we have played during the Barths, they’ve watched us playing during this tournament. I’m sure they will put in some strategy to come counter us. They have sure adapted to our kind of play, our system, our running style. So we will be matched up, talent for talent. Let the best team win. It will be a nail-bitter.


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