Victorious Cheetahs return

HARARE - Zimbabwe's rugby sevens team arrived yesterday afternoon to a low-key welcome from a handful of fans after they won the Africa Zone qualification tournament at the weekend to book their place at the 2013 IRB Sevens Rugby World Cup.

The Cheetahs were all smiles as they brandished the silver trophy they won after cutting through Tunisia 32-12 in the final on Saturday.

That success enables Zimbabwe, along with runners-up Tunisia, to qualify for the World Cup in Russia, joining automatic qualifiers South Africa and Kenya as Africa’s four representatives.

The players and support staff were in jovial mood as they reunited with their families after touching down at Harare International Airport.

Team manager Bruce Hobson said the Cheetahs overcame many obstacles in order to bring home the winners medal and more importantly qualify for the Moscow showpiece.

“It was a challenge for us logistically. We went to an alien place with alien cultures. It was  very difficult,” Hobson said.

“It was very difficult to adjust but our players our coaches had the experience to overcome the circumstances,” he said.

Hobson said the favourites tag bestowed on Zimbabwe before the tournament made their passage to clinching the African title more difficult as every team wanted a “piece of us.”

“It wasn’t an easy tour, everyone wanted a piece of us because they had nothing to lose,” Hobson said.

“We were the favourites so we had everything to lose but in the end the last game we played (against Tunisia) was our strongest game and that was the most important one.”

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