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Cheetahs make impact at World Series

The Cheetahs take part in two legs of the World Series in Dubai, Hong Kong and the series in South Africa.

The core teams in the eight-legged series are New Zealand, England, Australia, Samoa, South Africa, Fiji, Kenya, Wales, Argentina, Portugal, Russia, Scotland and Canada.

However the Zimbabwe Cheetahs have made an impact in the World Series despite making featuring at two tournaments. The Cheetahs performance has also caught the eye of the experts at the International Rugby Board (IRB).

According to the IRB analysis report focusing on the Hong Kong Sevens (March 25-27) series as well as the Adelaide Series (April 2-3), the Cheetahs were strong at contestable restarts.

The report sought to show each team’s scoring and effectiveness of each team in attack and defence, the source and origin up of each team’s tries, team’s possession times and percentage and each team’s passes and rate of passing. Also focused on were each team’s rucks, rate of rucking as well as success and approach at rucks.

Zimbabwe were the most successful in regaining own restarts together with Samoa and Portugal with eventual winners New Zealand sitting at position six.  Restarts are the common set pieces in sevens rugby with an average of seven restarts per match.

The Cheetahs, who were missing the services of their head coach Liam Middleton at the Hong Kong Series struggled to keep their possession as they are placed second from the bottom with 39 percent while their opponents’ average possession was 61 percent.

Zimbabwe also struggled in the ruck as they anchored the 26team log with Australia, Samoa and Champions New Zealand proving to strong in this department.

The team also struggled in winning the ball in the scrum as they had zero percent, but had 90 percent when it came to their own scrum.

The Cheetahs lost to Spain 14-17 in the semi-finals on the Shield Trophy, but had beaten Korea 28-12 in the quarterfinals of the same competition to come back home empty handed.

In the Pool stages Zimbabwe lost all their three matches to Canada 24-10, Argentina 21-12, and Australia 42 -2.

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