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Sunday, July 14, 2024

Cheetahs still in the race for Olympic qualification

Story by Raynald Ngwarati

ZIMBABWE’S Rugby team, the Cheetahs, have qualified for the Rugby Africa Sevens Cup quarter-finals after a dominant display in their Group C matches this Saturday at Harare Sports Club.

Physical on the pitch, but friendly on the stands is the summary of the opening day of the Rugby Africa Sevens Cup which kicked off this afternoon at Harare Sports Club.

The young, the old, and even government officials made their way to Harare Sports Club to watch regional rugby powerhouses like South Africa, Kenya, Uganda, and Namibia all battling for the continental gong in Harare.

In their numbers, the crowds created an electric atmosphere that impacted on and off the pitch with jingles and shouts to motivate their respective teams.

With Zimbabwe being the host nation, all eyes were on them as they Kick-started their Olympic qualification campaign with a 12-all draw with Burkina Faso.

The Cheetahs started the opener on the backfoot but a fightback in the second half reassured the fans that the hosts will not die without a fight.

Having been put in the same group as reigning Champions Uganda who started their Rugby Africa Sevens title defence with a commanding 45-07 win over Algeria, before beating Burkina Faso 36-19.
Zimbabwe had to bring their a-game to seal quarterfinal qualification as they dismantled Algeria 47-5 before wielding the axe on Uganda.

In the end, Zimbabwe had the final smile as captain Godfrey Magaramombe scored the last try, to ensure Zimbabwe outshine Uganda 35-5 and sealed a spot in the quarterfinals.

Meanwhile, South Africa also sealed qualification to the quarterfinals where they will date Nigeria who also qualified from their group on Sunday.

South Africa scored 120 points and only conceded 14 in a strong display, which yielded wins over Cote d’Ivoire, Tunisia, and Madagascar.

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