Handling errors cost Cheetahs

HARARE - Handling errors put paid to any chance Zimbabwe may had of causing a major upset against Oceania giants Samoa on Friday in the opening match of the Sevens Rugby World in Moscow.

The Cheetahs dominated the physical aspect of the match, especially at the breakdown but their handling let them down as the conceded a lot of knock-ons, going on to lose 21-14.

Gerald Nyamutsamba’s men had a lot of aimless passes in which one of them resulted in an intercepted try.

The Zimbabweans were quick out of the blocks and drew first blood through skipper Jacque Letiao, who went under the sticks unopposed.

Tangai Nemadire easily added the extra two.

Samoa levelled the scores through a converted try by Christian Topau.

Speed merchant Gardner Nechironga restored the Cheetahs’ lead right at the stroke of halftime with a piece of individual brilliance.

The Old Hararians livewire created an opening with a chip and chase before doting over the whitewash, which Nemadire converted once more.

The stern words at the break seemed to do the trick for Samoa as they got going in the second stanza striking first through Afa Aiona

Samoa grabbed the lead for the first time in the match courtesy another Topau try as the held on for the win.

Zimbabwe play Kenya this morning in an African derby which promises a lot of fireworks.

Kenya and Zimbabwe are among the continent's dominant sides in the sevens version of the game, the other dominant side being South Africa.

The last time Kenya played Zimbabwe was at the Africa Cup Sevens in Mombasa in April when Kenya defeated the Cheetahs 24-19 to emerge African champions.

They have certainly enjoyed a healthy rivalry over the years and the clash in Moscow is just another  installment, albeit a very important one as victory is imperative for either side if they are to keep their RWC Sevens ambitions alive.

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