BY SPORTS REPORTER
ZIMBABWE’S national rugby sevens team were given a reality check of the tough task awaiting them ahead of next month’s World Rugby Sevens Repechage in Monaco after losing all their three matches on the opening day of the Rugby Africa Solidarity 7s played in Stellenbosch, South Africa, yesterday.
The Cheetahs are using the Rugby Africa Solidarity 7s camp, which runs until May 16 to prepare for the World Rugby Sevens Repechage, the final qualification event for the Olympic Games in Tokyo, on June 19-20, 2021.
While South Africa and Kenya, are already fine-tuning for the Tokyo Games, for Zimbabwe and Uganda, the weeklong Rugby Africa Solidarity 7s is an opportunity to prepare for the final Olympic qualifier.
Zimbabwe looked terribly short of competitive match fitness after a lengthy period on the sidelines due to the Covid-19 pandemic and will have a lot of work on their hands ahead of the trip to Monaco after a difficult opening day in Stellenbosch.
The Cheetahs concluded the opening day with a 29-7 defeat against the Olympic-bound South Africa sevens team, their third straight loss, having earlier gone down 28-7 to the South Africa Sevens Academy.
Earlier Zimbabwe opened their campaign with a 24-0 defeat to the Olympic-bound Kenya team with the physically superior East African side running in four tries, two in each half.
In the end unbeaten South Africa finished atop the standings of the round-robin group with nine points, three ahead of Kenya.
Cheetahs’ Day One results
Zimbabwe 0-24 Kenya
Zimbabwe 7-28 SAS Rugby 7’s
Zimbabwe 7-29 South Africa
Squad: Tafadzwa Chitokwindo, Biselele Tshamala, Nelson Madida, Riaan O’Nell, Mkululi Ndhlela, Godknows Mavara, Shingirai Katsvere, Stephen Hunduza, Boyd Rouse, Kudzai Mashawi, Ryan Magaramombe, Ryan Musumhi, Godfrey Muzanargwo, Sam Phiri and Rufaro Chakawera.
Head coach: Graham Kaulback
Manager: Keegan Cooke
Physiotherapist: Margaret Gibson