Africa Gold Cup: Zimbabwe's troubles deepen after loss to Namibia

Zimbabwe coach Peter de Villiers SIMON MAINA/AFP/Getty Images

Zimbabwe's troubles in the Africa Rugby Gold Cup deepened on Saturday as they went down 58-27 to Namibia to make it four matches without a win under new coach Peter De Villiers.

The Sables had long relinquished the dream of a first World Cup appearance since 1991 going into the clash against Namibia, with the comprehensive defeat actually pushing them closer to the nightmare of relegation.

It will not have cheered De Villiers' men that Uganda, who started the weekend at the foot of the Gold Cup standings with no point from two matches, beat Tunisia 67-12 in Kampala to climb into third in the standings.

De Villiers had rallied supporters to come in their numbers to Bulawayo's Hartsfield Stadium, promising that "although Namibia will be the hot favourites, I can guarantee you will see a different Zim side."

And the Zimbabweans looked intent on matching the visitors pound for pound early on as they responded to Namibia's early promptings to level the match at 7-7 inside the first quarter hour.

Namibia's class would soon tell however and by the half-hour mark they had established a healthy 24-7 lead.

It was 7-34 just moments after the breather as it became increasingly clear that there would be no way back into the contest for Zimbabwe.

To their credit, the Sables continued to battle on though, but the 30 point defeat at the end could ultimately prove unhelpful in the relegation matrix.

With one match against Uganda in the final round, the Sables sit second-bottom, with only points difference separating them from Morocco, who now occupy the relegation place.

Coincidentally, the Ugandans host Morocco next week as De Villiers' men take a rest.

Kenya will play Tunisia in the other match next weekend as they look to keep pace with the rampaging Namibia, who are now on 19 points after Saturday's win.

Kenya's Simbas, also unbeaten, have amassed 12 points and will have another chance to qualify for the World Cup at the Repechage tournament if they finish second.