joseph ncube

Petra High School pupil shines at Under-14 rugby coaching festival

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THE Falcon College Under-14 Rugby Coaching Festival that was held last week in Esigodini was full of talented as well as up-and-coming talent drawn from all over the country.

Of note, a youngster from Petra High School, Joseph Ncube (ABOVE) stood out throughout the tournament.

Ncube, a Form One pupil at the private institution in Bulawayo was at the tournament despite his school having withdrawn from the competition days before.

This meant the pint-sized Ncube had to play for whichever team needed players. His prayers were answered as most of the schools did not bring the full number of athletes to make up a rugby team.

From the first day, Ncube was outstanding at scrumhalf where his ball distribution from the breakdowns and running in open play was excellent as he found the gaps with ease.

Ncube must have attracted attention from the national team technical members who were there throughout the tournament.

Present during the three-day competition were national Under-14 team coach Gordon Pangeti, his assistant Orlando Fernandes and team manager Taneswa Dinhidza.

There were divided views on which position Ncube was best suited for with some saying he was better tried off at flank while some thought that he was a fly-half.

Pangeti was, however, convinced that the youngster was a brilliant number nine.

On Ncubea��s chances of making the national team for the Under-13 Coca-Cola Craven Week in South Africa in July Pangeti said the boya��s prospects were bright even if he did not make the Old Mutual Junior Sables.

Pangeti also gave the youngster some words of advice as he told him to work on his passing daily.

a�?There are players with better range of passing but I like his tenacity and speed and fearless attitude. I told him to practise his passing daily. My job is not just about the Craven Week team but to nurture the talent at our disposal even if he does not make the cut that boy has something special, this is one of the reasons why I chose to come to watch untapped talent,a��a�� said Pangeti, a former national sevens rugby team player.

Ncube impressed the four South African coaches from the Durban based Investec Rugby Academy who conducted mentoring sessions for the Zimbabwean youngsters during the AMG Global funded tournament.

So impressed were the South Africans that they gave Ncube regalia belonging to their academy.

The four coaches from the Investec International Rugby Academy were Joe Beukes, Braam van Straaten, Jacques Botes and Greg Miller.

Unfortunately, Ncube sat out the last day of the tournament due to a knock on the side of the head which was the same spot where he had been hit by a hockey stick at school.

That means he has to sit out for about two weeks which could affect his chances of making it to the Matabeleland team as well as national side as trials are held during the second and third week after schools opening.