The Cheetahs ready for the All Africa and Olympics Games after narrowly missing the Hong Kong Tournament
The Cheetahs are already preparing for the All Africa Games and Olympics Games in Rio, Brazil after they narrowly came close to attaining core status on the World Rugby Sevens World Series at the Hong Kong Sevens tournament over the weekend.
Zimbabwe’s Sevens Rugby gaffer Daniel Hondo was optimistic that his charges played well at the prestigious tournament and they were now focusing on preparing for the All Africa Games in August and Olympics Games next year.
“We are going to review the tapes the matches we played and look ahead at the Rio Olympics. The goal is still to qualify for core status next year and we will stay focused on that but for now we are looking at getting into the All Africa Games.
“We have a very strong side and the young players, who form the bulk of the squad, have blended well with the more experienced players,” he said.
Zimbabwe’s Cheetahs who managed to reach the final took off their conquest at high note with wins against Guyana (36-0) and Tonga (41-0) last Friday before losing 0-10 to Spain in their final pool stage match.
Zimbabwe still qualified as the best placed runner up in the pool’ despite losing to Spain who topped the pool and the cheetahs managed to defeat the South American side Brazil 21-14 to book a spot in the semi-finals.
In an intriguing reverse Semi-final fixture against Spain the Cheetahs managed to get their revenge as they recorded their first ever win against the Spaniards in the 24-14 win to reach the final.
The Cheetahs looking to secure a victory against Russia in the final through, Kuda Chiwanza before Russia’s Vladimir Ostroushko scored the decisive try on the siren to seal a 22-19 win and the right to participate in every World Series tournament for the 2015-16 season.
The heartbreaking loss was reminiscent of another near miss in 2012 when the Cheetahs led Portugal 17-7 with a minute to play before the opponents scored twice before the hooter to win 21-17.
Cheetahs Results in Hong Kong
Pool Games: Zimbabwe 36 -0 Guyana, Zimbabwe 41 – 0 Tonga, Zimbabwe 0-10 Spain
Quarterfinals – Zimbabwe 21-14 Brazil
Semi Finals – Zimbabwe 24-14 Spain
Final – Zimbabwe 19-22 Russia