Cheetahs struggle in Dubai

ZIMBABWE’S Sevens rugby team failed to pick a win in their opening two Pool matches on the opening day of the Dubai Sevens despite putting on a commendable display against their more experienced neighbours South Africa and Argentina yesterday.


The Cheetahs, who are participating in 2018/19 World Rugby Sevens Series opening tournament on an invitation, faced a difficult opening fixture against South Africa and the gulf in class was clear from the onset as they went on to concede five tries on their way to a 31-0 defeat.

South Africa’s tries were scored by Siviwe Soyizwapi, Branco du Preez, Kyle Brown and Rosko Specman, who ran in two five pointers.

Du Preez also added two conversions and Justin Geduld was on target with another.

The South Africans are the defending champions, winning back-to-back titles over the past two seasons.

They are also the defending Sevens World Series champions for the past two seasons and will look to make it three-in-a-row during the 2018-2019 season.

After being completely shut out by South Africa, the Zimbabweans put on a much improved attacking display against Argentina albeit on a losing cause after narrowly going down 19-22 in a match which could have gone either way.

The Cheetahs led 12-10 at the break courtesy of tries by Biselele Tshamala and Takudzwa Kumadiro, while Argentina also crossed the whitewash twice.

It looked like it would Zimbabwe’s day as Tafadzwa Chitokwindo, who had been tipped by World Rugby to be one of the players to watch in the tournament, lived up to his billing to finish off a brilliant team effort.

In the end, it was yet another case of so near yet so far for the Cheetahs, as Argentina dug deep at the end after Conrado Roura scored the winning try, which was converted by Gaston Revol to ensure a hard-fought victory for the South Amerians.

Zimbabwe were scheduled to play Samoa in their last pool match late yesterday.

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