Zimbabwe suffered a 12-20 dismal loss to minnows Algeria in a Rugby Africa 3rd and 4th place playoff played in Marseille, France.
Algeria who are ranked 82nd beat the 26th-ranked team in convincing fashion.
As in their game against Kenya, Algeria showed real class and better organisation which the Sables could not match.
As indicated before, the current Zimbabwe setup needs a facelift if the fortunes are to change. It is the flawed system that has made it difficult to move any steps forward.
It is not about the coach or the manager but the general system that is in place. There is a general appreciation that can be handed to the visibility of the sport in all circles.
It can easily concur that Rugby is the most visible sport in the country with sponsorships and big audiences spreading to the local games.
However, on the pitch, there haven’t been that much of strides taken. In schools sport, the junior teams are now playing in the less lucrative Academy Week and the senior team is playing in the lowly ranked Currie Cup Division 1.
In all fairness, we are still on the same level all that has increased is the noise behind the boys.
There are issues still to be rectified like the question of players’ payments. How does a team with a sponsorship of over a quarter-million dollars fail to pay $10 000 to quality players?
Why are some players not afforded the same opportunities after risking it all to play for the badge? It is the system, not individuals as some people would want to take it.
The results in France have proved that amid all the noise and the shouting, we are still in one place. We have made strides on our pitching and sponsorships but on the pitch, we have not exactly taken any strides.
Going up on world rankings means nothing when the team fails to get the gold or at least a podium finish.
If after such a series of events we can’t question the coaching staff because a pack of hounds will come barking at us, then how best can we objectively grow the sport?
There are many coaches in Zimbabwe who are capable of taking over and if everyone involved really cares for the sport then we all should be open to discussing life after the current coaching team.
The loss of quality players over a simple thing as contracts would show the level of organisation and seriousness towards achieving the goals we set.
It has to be a constant tussle in the mind of the profusely reminded amateur athlete to at least dream of achieving a professional goal.
With all the money that was flaunted in the media, how did we fail to at least give some sort of contract to the players?
We were always not ready for France or maybe we thought we were.
For a moment we all believed we were and then the system caught up with all of us.
There are truths that have to be shared and one is that if the current system persists, we will forever celebrate that Richard Tsimba World Cup try for good.
Let us begin to work towards 2027 and 2031 and let us do so now!