Cheetahs stay in the hunt

HARARE - The Zimbabwe Sevens Rugby team got their IRB Sevens World Series in Hong Kong off to a good start after beating Mexico 27-0, as they took a step forward towards gaining core membership status.

The Hong Kong Sevens is the sixth leg of the IRB World Series and is doubling up as the IRB World Series pre-qualifying competition for core status on the circuit.

The Cheetahs are up against Russia, Cook Islands and Mexico in Pool G.

The side will be battling to finish in the top four of the 12-team qualifying competition to earn a place at the London leg of the series in May.

Yesterday the Cheetahs heralded their arrival in the Asian archipelago by putting on a polished performance that saw them romping past Mexico with relative ease.

Rhodes University student Tafadzwa Chitokwindo opened the African side’s account before Daniel Hondo of Harare Sports Club and Gweru Sports Clubs Kelvin Magunje ran in a try each to leave Zimbabwe leading 17-0 at the breather.

The North American country offered little resistance in the second stanza as the Cheetahs through Chitokwindo and Njabulo Ndlovu opened the flood gates with tries each taking the score to 27-0.

The strength and conditioning the side has been receiving from fitness coach Matthew Nesbitt proved to be a determining factor as the Cheetahs maintained momentum in the second half.

Zimbabwe plays the Cook Islands and Russia today looking to build on yesterday’s performance.

Tonga, Uruguay, Tunisia and Chinese Taipei, who are in Pool E and Japan, Georgia, Jamaica and Brazil who are in Pool F are the other non-core teams hoping to secure core status.

The top four teams after the 12 team competition will earn a place at the London leg of the series.

Those teams will then battle the bottom three teams from the current series and other non-core teams for three slots on the IRB World Sevens Series core team list.

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