Zimbabwe rugby sevens franchise chairman Donald Mangenje said the country’s victory at the pre-qualifying tournament of the Hong Kong Sevens Series last week should be a statement to the world ahead of the IRB London Sevens World Series.
by Albert Marufu
The Gilbert Nyamutsamba coached side beat Tonga 21-19 to win the Cup final in Hong Kong. They will be aiming to attain core status at the IRB World Series that takes place from May 11-13.
Zimbabwe, Tonga, Brazil, Hong Kong, Russia and three bottom placed teams in the IRB World Series log will fight it out for the three slots of teams to participate in all the 2013/2014 IRB World Circuit.
“The boys played very well in Hong Kong and that shows that they have come of age. We will give them something to motivate them as we have done in the past. Beating teams such as Tonga and Russia means that other teams will treat us with respect,” he said.
Mangenje added that the Cheetahs’ positive result in Hong Kong came as a result of the thorough preparations that the team has had since January.
“We prepared well for this tournament and our participation at the Zimbabwe Spar International Sevens Series was very helpful. We hope to participate in a number of tournaments before the IRB London Sevens Series,” he said.
In Hong Kong, the Cheetahs,who had wing Gardner Nechironga being named the Player of the Tournament, beat Russia 19-5 in the semi-finals after sidestepping the challenge of Brazil in the quarter finals.
In the group stages, the Cheetahs beat Mexico 27-0, Cook Islands 29-0, but lost to Russia 21-12 to finish on second position.