Zimbabwe’s Sevens Rugby team, who struggled on their debut at the Scotland leg of the HSBC World Sevens series, were handed a tough draw for the Marriott London Sevens to be played at Twickenham Stadium this weekend.
The Marriott London Sevens is the ninth and final round of the HSBC Sevens World series.
The Cheetahs, as the team is affectionately known by rugby fans, were drawn in Pool C where they were reunited with Fiji who hammered them 40-0 in their first match in Scotland on Saturday. The other teams in Pool C are Wales, who lost in the Plate final to Samoa and Spain, who also lost in the Bowl final to Russia.
The draw was broadcasted live on television before the Cup final of the penultimate round in Glasgow, won by HSBC World Sevens series leaders New Zealand. As Glasgow champions, New Zealand top Pool A and face matches against Argentina, Russia and Kenya while Australia head Pool D and face a tough trio of matches against South Africa, Scotland and Portugal. Glasgow runners-up England head Pool B on home soil and will take on Samoa, France and USA on day one.
The Cheetahs, who were missing the services of key players Manasah Sita and Jacques Leitao due to injury and family commitments respectively, were far from their best in Scotland. Inexperience and lack of composure at crucial periods in the game proved to be the Cheetahs’ biggest undoing especially in the Shield semi-final where they took the lead before folding under pressure to eventually lose 7-24.
Earlier, the Cheetahs lost 14-7 to Spain quarter-final of the Bowls. During the group stage, the Cheetahs lost all three Pool C matches to Fiji, Argentina and Portugal by scores of 40-0, 19-14 and 24-14 respectively. Gilbert Nyamutsamba and his men will however be hoping for a better performance in their maiden appearance in London and ensure they finish their campaign on this year’s series on a high.
Cheetahs Squad: Fortune Chipendu, Njabulo Ndlovu, Justin Coles, Mike Morris, Tangai Nemadire, Graham Kaulback, Daniel Hondo, Gerald Sibanda, Gardner Nechironga, Wes Mbanje, Kilvan Magunje, Jacques Leitao (captain).