Zimbabwe’s national sevens rugby side the Lady Cheetahs and Georgia’s men’s national team scooped top honours in emphatic fashion to win the women’s and men’s finals to wrap up an actioned packed two days of the Kwese Sevens Tournament at the Machinery Exchange Stadium, Harare Sports Club.
Both sides were unbeaten – Lady Cheetahs conceded only one try in the tournament as they beat Zambia 31-0 in their final while Georgia beat home favourites Zambezi Cheetahs 19-14 to close off the tournament.
The ladies stood unopposed as they were a solid unit which boasted of experienced senior players and the new generation of players.
One the teams old guards Charity ‘Choki’ Mucucuti opened the scoring and the speed and leadership of Constance ‘Kadiki’ Ngwende gave Zambia a torrid time.
Lady Cheetahs were an impermeable fortress held by Caroline Malenga, Precious Marange and Lissy Wasarirevhu – packed with pass and clinical finishers, out classed Zambia stood no chance.
“I cannot describe how it feels to win a championship in front of our home fans, they were supporting us all the way and we have won their hearts by giving our best at every moment.”
“All three teams representing the Lady Cheetahs gave their hearts out for two days of god rugby and we hope to get to play at even bigger tournaments,” said captain Ngwende.
Lady Cheetahs Head Coach Abigail Kawonza echoed Ngwende’s sentiments as she hopes for more international invitationals.
“The ladies executed everything we planned, their chemistry on the field and composure on the field would make any coach happy.”
“They really wanted to win this and they not only won a trophy but a new fan base at home, we hope that we get more game time to accommodate the growth and appetite for competitive women’s sevens in Zimbabwe and the rest of Africa,” said Kawonza.
Meanwhile visiting Georgia had entered the tournament as the third ranked favourites behind Zambia and Zimbabwe only to stun the hosts in a nail bitter of a match.
The build-up to the final came off a dramatic 12-7 semi-final against Zambia in which Georgia’s surpassed Zambia’s physicality along with a blistering fast running lines to earn a finals berth.
In the final match of the day Zimbabwe led 14-7 at half time and but the pendulum swung against them as Georgians capitalised of defensive errors in a clinical come back to score two tries in the second half.
Georgian Head Coach Zaal Lejava was on his feast as his charged up players gave Zimbabwe difficult run.
“I am very happy for us, this is my second year as he head coach and this is a big one for my team.”
“It I very important for the boys who want to qualify for the Olympic Games and after this tournament we hope to be much stronger,” said Lejava.
Georgian Captain Ramaz Kharazishvili lauded Zimbabwe for hosting the tournament and giving much needed competition in their quest for Olympic qualification.
“I want to thank Zimbabwe for inviting us here, it was a tough tournament and Zimbabwe played very good rugby in the final.”
“This will help us get better as we prepare for the Olympics,” he said.
Zambezi Cheetahs Coach Gilbert Nyamutsamba remains optimistic ahead of the Hong Kong Sevens and prospects of Olympic Qualification.
“Unfortunately we did not get the result we wanted, Georgia wanted to win this and they did everything to deserve that win.”
“We are keeping our heads up high and we have achieved a lot of what we planned as we approach the Hong Kong Sevens and other events to come, the key thing was identifying weaknesses and strengths which we did this weekend,” said Nyamutsamba.
The final in the schools category went in favour of Prince Edwards Tigers who beat Churchill Bulldogs (7-7) by virtue of the tournament rules which stated that the first team to score a try will win in the event of a tie that will clash with a live broadcast and where the sudden death would not be played.
This means the Bulldogs will have to settle their age old score with the Tigers and this year’s Dairiboard Rugby Festival.
Day Two results
5th and 6th Goromonzi 26-05Hellenic
1st Semi-final Churchill 19-12 Allan Wilson
2nd Semi-final Prince Edward 17-12 Wise Owl
3rd v 4th Wise Owl 26-14 Allan Wilson
Final Churchill 7-7 Prince Edward (Prince Edward win 1st try)
1st Semi-final Cheetahs 35-00 Zim Southern 7’s
2nd Semi-final Zambia 17-12 Zimbabwe A
Final Cheetahs 31-0 Zambia
Qtr Finals 1 Georgia – Bye
Qtr Finals 2 Zambia 26-12 Mbare Academy
Qtr Finals 3 Goshawks 05-22 Spartans (Botswana)
Qtr Finals 4 Zim Cheetahs 45-00 Malawi
Mbare Academy 28-12 Mbare Academy B
Goshawks 38-00 Malawi
1st Semi-final Georgia 12-07Zambia
2nd Semi-final Spartans (Botswana )12-07 Zimbabwe Cheetahs
3rd & 4th Zambia 17-12Botswana Spartans
Final Zim Cheetahs 14-19 Georgia