Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Takudzwa Ngwenya, the man who hit the headlines in 2007 after skinning Bryan Habana in a World Cup pool game, scored three great tries for Biarritz on the weekend as they beat Gloucester 42-15 in the Heineken Cup.
Known as Zee to his friends, the Zimbabwean turned American has shown that in the two years since that sensational moment that was awarded Try of the Tournament, hes no one-trick-pony.
His progression from a little known Sevens player in Texas, to playing with the big boys in Europe, has been somewhat of a fairytale.
He was hoping to make it big in American Football after his family moved there when he was 16. His transition into professional rugby came almost by accident.
"During the off-season, I played a bit of rugby sevens for Dallas to stay in shape," he said.
"One of the American national coaches saw me and it all went from here. I'd tried my best in American football but they had big boys of 240 pounds who could run almost as fast as I could.
"I didn't think I would make it because I was too light. When I started playing rugby, I didn't have any skills. I could just run."
On the weekend, we saw exactly how well he can run, as well as chip, swerve, and finish like a top class wing with years of experience. He scored a superb hat-trick in a quick fire fifteen minutes, one of the fastest in European Cup history.
All three tries were taken brilliantly, showing that the young man from Harare has come on in leaps and bounds in the short period of time that hes been playing rugby, a little over four years to be exact.
While some were sceptical about his signing in France so suddenly after the World Cup in 2007, hes since proven his critics wrong and has shown huge improvements in his handling, reading of the game, and defence.
He in fact made a brilliant tackle on big Lesley Vainikolo at one stage in the match, bringing down the bulky winger with ease, just 5 meters out from the tryline.
Zee Ngwenya sure looks to be here to stay. He's a great example of a man who took his chance when it was presented to him, and is now one of the most potent finishers in European rugby.
Heineken Cup Round 6 Pick of the Week (Jan 2008)
Takudzwa Ngwenya smokes Bryan Habana
Serious gas shown by Eagles wing Ngwenya
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