Dubai trip pleases OGs

HARARE - After months of hard work and intensive training, Zimbabwean rugby champions Old Georgians (OGs) are chuffed following their good performance at the maiden appearance at the Dubai 7s Invitational tournament recently.

OGs reached the final of the tournament which is only second in importance to the HSBC World Rugby 7s Series.

After negotiating their way past Pool C that also included France Development, Ireland and Germany, the Dragons went on to the quarter-finals where they beat Monaco Impis 24-12.

Old Georgians

Old Georgians

In the semi-finals, the Zimbabwean side beat Georgia 19-5 but fell short in the final where they lost to Germany.

The Dragons coach Grant Mitchell was left impressed with how they showcased both the OGs and Zimbabwe Sevens rugby brand on the world map.

“It’s been an amazing few months of preparation for the Dubai 7s especially as a club it takes a tremendous amount of work to take a club brand international and that was one of the objectives for this tournament,” Mitchell told the Daily News.

“The idea was to take the brand international and allow the players to compete from a Sevens perspective, at the best tournament in the world in terms of size and status and to give them a platform to showcase their talent not just as a team but individually as well because there’s a lot of added benefits to play in the Dubai 7s that if you are a player you can strategically take advantage of as well.

“So... a lot of work went in behind the scenes from the club to sponsors and donations, it’s a huge effort to get a team to Dubai on your own measures and I’m very grateful that it happened.”

Mitchell admitted the Dubai trip was a good test for his side considering the quality of the opposition they came across.

“The tournament itself; world class extremely challenging and difficult but that’s exactly what we wanted and we got it, he said.

“We competed in the international invitational section of the tournament. Very fortunate to have played against national teams as a club side and did very well. We had targeted to push ourselves through into day two into the main cup section by virtue of finishing top two in our Pool.”

Mitchell added: “We were very privileged, proud and honoured to fly the brand of OGs, the brand of Zimbabwe club rugby and then obviously Zimbabwe rugby as well at the Dubai 7s.

“It was great to see the level of support we had that side, the Zimbabwe flag pitch side supporting us    and interacting with the players the general interest in the sport of rugby in Zimbabwe as well; happy to spread the positive message of the sport of rugby to people in Dubai.”