Mavesere makes big rugby leap Tinotenda Blithe Mavesere

Brandon Moyo, [email protected]

ZIMBABWE international rugby player, Tinotenda Blithe Mavesere has made yet another big move in his career after making his EPCR Challenge Cup debut for South African Rugby (SARU) franchise side, Hollywoodbets Sharks on Saturday evening. 

The 24-year-old rugby star was one of the three debutants in Sharks’ dominant 38-7 victory over French side Oyonnax Rugby at the Kings Park Stadium in Durban, South Africa. Mavesere was in the starting 15.

 Two other debutants, former Griquas wing Eduan Keyter and former Pumas star Diego Appollis having featured for his side mainly in last year’s Currie Cup, Mavesere, a loose forward came into the starting 15 on Saturday as a replacement of James Venter (who came in the 64th minute to replace Pepsi Buthelezi).

Mavesere was first subbed off in the 69th minute for Hanro Jacobs who had been replaced by Khwezi Mona two minutes earlier before he returned to the field of play 10 minutes later for Jacobs as well.

Mavesere and his Durban teammates had to put in the hard work to get the bonus points against the French opposition. The win for Mavesere and his Sharks moved them to 12 points on Pool One standings while Oyonnax remain at the bottom with just one point.

A brace from the Springboks prop Ox Nche and one try from winger Makazole Mapimpi in the first half put the Sharks in the driving seat of the match with flyhalf Curwin Bosch providing two conversions to put the Durban side in front.

Sharks continued putting in the fight in the second half and were rewarded with more tries from their skipper and another World Cup winner with the Boks, Lukhanyo Am in the 48th minute – a try that confirmed their bonus point – before flanker Lappies Labuschagne and Mapimpi – grabbing his second – put the icing on the cake.It was prop, Thibault Berthaud who scored the only try for Oyonnax, which was converted by Justin Bouraux in the second half.

Mavesere, who is regarded as the future of Zimbabwean rugby, joined Sharks three years ago but had to wait long to make his debut after suffering a knee injury, which also ruled him out of the Sables’ unsuccessful World Cup qualification campaign.

Having joined the Sharks in 2021, he went on to make  his long awaited debut in March 2023 during their Currie Cup Premier Division opener against  the then newly promoted Griffons. 

He has since been making big steps in career with his debut on Saturday being one of his achievements. – @brandon_malvin

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