Cheetahs fall in Dubai

ZIMBABWE’S Cheetahs found the going tough on their return to the opening tournament of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series with Gilbert Nyamutsamba’s men losing all their pool A games against tough opposition yesterday.

But the African champions will take some solace from improved performances in their last pool A games against Argentina and Samoa in which they showed great potential to improve and match some of the world’s best.

The Cheetahs however, got a rude awakening of how much ground they would need to cover in the international game after being handed a 31-0 hiding by Dubai tournament defending champions South Africa in their opening assignment.

Nyamutsamba’s men then entertained Argentina in what turned out to be a see-saw affair which the Pumas eventually won 22-19

But that was not before the Cheetahs had taken a 12-10 lead at the break.

Argentina also shocked South Africa 19-12 in their final pool clash.

In their third pool game, Zimbabwe took on Samoa and narrowly went down 19-17.

But it was in the opening game that the cheetahs got a lashing by their southern neighbours.

A brace of tries by the hotstepper Rosko Speckman highlighted the Blitzboks’ opening salvo in defence of their Dubai Sevens title as they dispatched Zimbabwe 31-0.

Speckman’s brace came at the end of the match after the damage had already been done with Shakes Soyizwapi and Branco du Preez scoring early to give the South Africans a 14-0 lead.

Zimbabwe tried hard but never had the firepower to match the Blitzboks physicality and eventually succumbed to the World Series champions’ pressure game.

Speckman had a beautiful run shortly after taking the field to put veteran Kyle Brown in at the corner before showing his magic for the two tries.

The first came from a chip by Justin Geduld and the second came with trademark speed at the end of the game.

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