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Early whistle frustrates Botswana

Zimbabwe won their test against Botswana – but may have benefited from an early ending.

Back in May Zimbabwe travelled to Gaborone in Botswana where they lost 17-10 to a Botswana XV in an uncapped friendly – but this time the game was recognised as a full test by both unions and World Rugby.

As was the case with their test last month against Zambia, not official match reports have appeared from either Unions. However, with the invaluable help of Helen Buteme, we have managed to get feedback on the game from Botswana’s coach Munyaradzi “Munya” Mhonda.

"We returned last night”, he told us. “after a very long and tiring drive.

“Unfortunately, we were delayed at the Zimbabwe border for three hours and only arrived an hour before kick off 12.20pm.

“It took a while for our ladies to get into the game owing to the eleven-hour bus ride and we were stunned by two early tries in the first half by Zimbabwe Rachel Tembo and Ruvimbo Musere.

“In the second half we quickly hit back with a try by Kelebogile Bakwasi. At this point the Botswana team had their tails up and momentum was on our side.

“But then, 15 minutes before regulation time, the match was stopped so that the following men’s test could start on time. And that was the final score 10-5 to Zimbabwe. Had full regulation time been played I am certain the result would have been different.

“I have to say that we were hosted well by Zimbabwe and I know the Botswana Women's team enjoyed the experience of their weekend rugby in Bulawayo"

This was the fourth test match played by southern African nations other than South Africa. The first two (Zimbabwe v Zambia in 2007 and Namibia v Botswana in 2013) are not recognised by World Rugby for ranking purposes as the participating nations were not all members of the IRB/World Rugby at the time.

However, this game (and, in theory, last month’s test between Zimbabwe and Zambia, though it seems to have been missed) should now ensure that the teams join World Rugby’s ranking.