14-man Zimbabwe U20 have won the 2023 Barthes Trophy for the second time in a row after defeating Kenya U20 28-7 in the final played on Sunday at Nyayo Stadium.
Both sides headed to the final after staying unbeaten in the quarters and semis. To return to the final Kenya eliminated Namibia while Zimbabwe beat Tunisia.
Both sides set for World Junior Trophy
Kenya and Zimbabwe will represent Africa in the World Junior Trophy set for Nairobi. Zimbabwe qualify for the competition as African Champions while Kenya qualify as hosts.
The opening minutes of the game saw Kenya miss a golden opportunity to take the lead when Patrick Wainana failed to convert a penalty kick.
However, Zimbabwe took advantage of their with quick passing on the left side, leading to Edward Sigauke diving over for the first try of the game, which was converted for a 7-0 lead.
The Junior Sables extended their lead shortly afterwards, as they broke on the right side and executed a beautiful exchange of passes, allowing Simbarashe Kanyangarara to race clear and score the second try, also converted for a 14-0 lead.
Kenya managed to close the gap, as captain Laban Kipsang quickly tapped a penalty and forced his way over for a try, which was converted by Wainaina, making it 14-7.
However, Kenya’s struggles to contain Zimbabwe’s backs continued , and they soon conceded another try. Quick passing saw Alex Nyamunda receive an inside pass and score under the posts, with the conversion making it 21-7 to Zimbabwe.
Despite conceding several yellow cards in the run-up to halftime, Kenya did not concede more points.
Zimbabwe reduced to 14
During the final half, Zimbabwe’s fortunes took a hit when Muzuva Gutu was shown a red card for a high tackle on Patrick Wainaina, Kenya’s fly-half.
Despite being a player down, Zimbabwe’s defense remained resolute, frustrating Kenya’s attempts to make any significant headway.
Zimbabwe fourth try was ruled out following a forward pass in the build up but the cancelation did not dampen Zimbabweans mood.
They had another break and a long pass by Dion Khumalo off a long long break saw Sigauke land the final that was converted at the stroke of fulltime for a 28-7 win.
Zimbabwe are set to return to Nairobi in June for the JWRT.
Zimbabwe U20 vs Kenya 20 Barthes Tropy
Zimbabwe 1. Ngobile Manyara 2. Bryan Chiang 3. Tadiwa Chinwada 4. Huntley Materson 5. Tanaka GondoMukandapi (VC) 6. Tanaka Ndoro 7. Muzuva Gutu 8. Allan Mawunga 9. Panashe Zuze (C) 10. Brendan Marume (VC) 11. Edward Sigauke 12. Alex Nyamunda 13. Dion Khumalo 14. Simbarashe Kanyangarara 15. Benoni Nhekairo
16. Stanely Muraganwa 17. Garry Zisengwe 18. Gealan Jaricho 19. Leo Mutendi 20. Taonaishe Mapani 21. Shadreck Mandaza 22. Tanaka Chinyanga 23. Tawanayasha Bwanya
Kenya 1.Geylord Ngasi 2. Mike Oduor 3. Raymond Chacha 4. Eugene Etale 5. Laban Kipsang’ (C) 6. Iddo Kuta 7. Jacktone Omondi 8. James Asanga 9. Zephenes Obwanga 10. Patrick Wainaina 11. Victor Odhiambo 12. Kennedy Claude 13. Raphael Wanga 14. Mike Wamalwa 15. Eddy Wambugu
16. George Otieno 17. Brian Makaya 18. Dennis Kisingu 19. Stanislaus Shikoli 20. William Otondi 21. Edmond Omondi 22. Brian Mwendwa 23. Chacha Masega