Harare - Zimbabwe Sables took firm control of the Victoria Cup proceedings when they upstaged the Cranes of Uganda last weekend.
The 32-26 hard-fought win helped Zimbabwe cement their place at the top of the log above second-placed Kenya, Uganda and Zambia who are at the foot of the table.
In a match played before a raucous capacity crowd at Harare Sports Club, Zimbabwe looked very much in command in the initial stages and went to the half time break leading 15-12.
But, Uganda came back probing the hosts in the second half and Zimbabwe would need a last gasp penalty points to survive a nail-biting final moments scare from their guests.
With Zimbabwe knowing fully a penultimate round win against Zambia could be enough for them to wrap it up, their coach Brendan Dawson was naturally elated with his charges showing against Uganda.
“I am elated the team gave everything to secure the points. Uganda wanted to win the match and they tried as much as they could but we were good enough and full value for our points.
“Uganda are a tough team in rugby. They are physically strong and technically good. After we beat them in their own backyard weeks ago, obviously we had to prepare well since we knew they would come at us seeking revenge and trying to gate-crash into pole position.
“But we restricted them to penalties and drop-kicks.
“I had three players who were making their full Test debuts and they gave a good account of themselves,” he said.
Dawson said his team was now preparing for the last two matches against Zambia and Kenya.
He said the last two games will define who he has become as the Sables coach and how much the team has grown in terms of strength.
“Obviously, we are now within sniffing distance of the Victoria Cup but we have to finish the job. Beat Zambia and Kenya and we know for sure we have played good rugby. We are preparing well for those last two matches.
“It is always difficult to play away from home but then we have to perform.”