AFTER convincingly storming their way to the finals, Zimbabwe Young Cheetahs suffered a 31-0 humiliating defeat at the hands of the defending champions South Africa in the Capricorn Group Sponsored International Junior Sevens Rugby Tournament.
The three-day sevens rugby extravaganza which was held at the Windhoek Gymnasium Private school, Namibia from 27 to 29 February saw six international teams comprising Botswana, Germany, Kenya, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe take part.
The Young Cheetahs made their breakthrough to the Capricorn finals for the first time since its establishment.
Young Cheetahs team manager Nyasha Muchochomi said playing in the finals was a big improvement for the team after finishing fifth last year.
“What we are proud about for making it into the finals is that South Africa was nervous not knowing what to expect from Zimbabwe,” said Muchochomi.
Shaun De Sauza, Young Cheetahs coach said it was his first national assignment as head coach and they were trying to play catch-up to South Africa who are ranked number one in both 15 and sevens world rankings.
“Playing in the final was great and losing to a better team just helps one to reflect and get back to the drawing board. It was a great moment for the boys to rub shoulders with top teams and hold their weight.
“With youth Olympics fast approaching we need to keep working, investing in high-performance camps that will keep our players on the ball. This will also keep all the squad players active as we don’t have a sevens schools league to talk about,” said De Sauza.
De Sauza said the squad that travelled for the tournament will go a long way in building the 2021 team that will fight it out for youth Olympics.
Zimbabwe has been a regular feature at the annual event since its inception in 2017 and the crowned champions, South Africa remains undisputed.
Zim 00 – 31 South Africa
Zim 12 – 17 German
Zim 14 – 34 South Africa
Zim 40 – 00 Botswana
Zim 19 – 00 Namibia
Zim 19 – 12 Namibia development.