THE Young Sables capped a disappointing outing in the Africa Under-20 Championship when they conceded a last-minute try in the Group A third-place playoff defeat to hosts Madagascar yesterday.
Justin Tojonirina Razafimanonjy planted a 79th minute try to steal a 36-35 win over the Zimbabweans who had controlled the game from the first-minute.
Zimbabwe, who had lost their opening match to Kenya on Friday, missed the opportunity to qualify for the World Rugby Under-20 Trophy to be held in Uruguay from August 29 to September 10 following the losses.
Defending Africa Under-20 champions Namibia walked away with the ticket to represent the region at the global stage after outclassing Kenya 66-24 in the final. The bad news for the Zimbabwe youth team is that they could be relegated to the second-tier of the tournament.
The Young Sables were on course yesterday as they controlled the game from the first minute when Pride Ameni put them ahead with a penalty kick which was followed by an unconverted try by Aiden Burnet.
Zimbabwe led 21-17 at half-time after Ameni kicked in two more penalties and was on hand to convert a 25th minute try by Gregory Mihindu.
The Young Sables looked on course for their first win with the scoreboard reading 35-29 in their favour but Razafimanonjy touched down and Tahina Rajaonarivelo made no mistake with the conversion.