Zimbabwe score three second half tries to beat hosts Botswana 23-3 to win the CAR (Confederation of African Rugby) Southern Trophy at the University of Botswana in Gaborone on Saturday.
Both sides had gone into the final day with an unbeaten record after two wins and at half time were locked at 3-3 with Zimbabwe fly half Tichafara Makwanya cancelling out Edward Oostuisen's earlier penalty.
However any hopes of Botswana upsetting a side 20 places above them in the IRB World Rankings disappeared after full back Tafadzwa Mhende crossed within minutes of the restart with scrum half Tapiwa Mafi and prop Alfred Sairai also claiming tries to seal victory for Zimbabwe.
Botswana's loss, allied with final day wins for Madagascar and Mauritius, means that they finish fourth in the six-team tournament with Réunion fifth and Zambia bottom of the standings.
Second half fightback
Madagascar, the highest ranked of the six sides going into the tournament, made it two wins on the bounce by defeating Réunion 36-27. However, they did not have it all their own and had to survive a plucky Réunion fightback in the second half.
Réunion had led twice in the first quarter with scrum half Sylvian Desverrgnes crossing for the first try of the match, but went in trailing 22-10 Madagascar at half time following tries from Rija Rakotoarimanana, Andry Mananjarasoa and Herilaza Ramanoelina.
Within 11 minutes of the restart, though, Réunion had drawn level at 22-22 thanks to two tries from their forward pack, the first for number 8 Jerome Gautier before prop Cedric Tibruce touched down.
Réunion then edged themselves ahead with Nicolas Frapaise's try, but there was to be no fairytale comeback with Mananjarasoa crossing twice to complete his hat-trick and ensure Madagascar finished as runners up to Zimbabwe in the standings.
Mauritius also ended on a winning note, picking up their second victory in Botswana, with Herbert Couacaus, D Claude Pilot and replacement Gaultier Ozoux crossing for tries in a 25-8 defeat of Zambia.
Monday 20 July
Zimbabwe 31-22 Madagascar
Botswana 16-10 Zambia
Mauritius 10-9 Réunion
Wednesday 22 July
Botswana 39-17 Réunion
Mauritius 8-14 Zimbabwe
Madagascar 36-15 Zambia
Saturday 25 July
Madagascar 36-27 Réunion
Mauritius 25-8 Zambia
Botswana 3-23 Zimbabwe
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