SA win it, Zim qualify for Hong Kong

HARARE - The Zimbabwe Sevens rugby team finished third at the Confederation of African Rugby (Car) Sevens Africa Cup yesterday after beating Tunisia 41-5 in the play-offs here.

With that, the Cheetahs qualify for next March’s Hong Kong leg of the World Sevens Rugby Series, where they will have another go at core status of the nine-legged series.

The overall tournament was won by the South African Sevens Academy, who clinched it after beating a Kenyan second-string side 38-5 in the final.

But it was the home side who were under pressure to impress in front of home fans.

The Cheetahs blew hot and cold in the tournament, especially the old guard of Wes Mbanje, Fortune Chipendo and Gardner Nechironga, who produced high error rates – perhaps signal that their time in the Sevens side is probably up.

Mbanje and Nechironga were being recalled to the side after sitting on the sidelines in recent times.

The three, all in their early 30s now, lacked pace, the handling was appalling, and struggled at the breakdown.

Germany-based speedster Tafadzwa “Rubber”Chitokwindo was pick of the crop for Zimbabwe, scoring 11 tries in the tournament. He destroyed Tunisia in the third and fourth play-off as he ran in four tries.

Diminutive scrumfalf Stephan Hunduza was also a livewire. His creativity and eye for gap helped the team in some tight games to unlock some stubborn defence.

Overall, Zimbabwe were unconvincing and need to regroup ahead of Hong Kong.

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