Petros Kausiyo Deputy Sports Editor
ZIMBABWE captain Boyd Rouse insists they will not be intimidated by the high-profile status of Wales and has declared his Cheetahs ready to go pound-for-pound against the Europeans in their Rugby Sevens World Cup tie at the AT&T Park in San Francisco, United States, tonight.
The Cheetahs are scheduled to take to the field at 11.07pm Zimbabwean time, with Gilbert Nyamutsamba’s men aware that an upset victory will set them up for a Round of 16 encounter against hosts United States later in the night.
Rouse, who has been installed co-captain with Stephan Hunduza at this showpiece, believes the Southern Africans are ready to announce their presence at the World Cup with a stellar show.
The work that Nyamutsamba and his men have put since they sealed their qualification with a runner-up spot at the Africa Cup in Uganda last October, will now be on show for the next three days.
“Camp in Harare was great and we really started stepping it up towards departure,’’ said Rouse.
“We had a good journey coming to San Francisco, the guys struggled a bit with jet lag when we arrived on Sunday, but we have overcome that now.
“We have really got a good week’s training so far and we have really got to a good level and went over the technical aspects of our game.
“The vibe within the team is great, the guys are really enjoying each other’s company. We realise how important it is to be here, enjoying being here, enjoying the moment and we are taking in the moment.’’
The Cheetahs captain said they were relishing their presence at the World Cup and were eager to make the most of it by raising the country’s flag high.
“What an achievement it is to be here . . . obviously we are not here just to be a number, we have our own expectations for this weekend.
“That having been said, we are not putting pressure on our ourselves. We know what we have to do, we know the game plan we have and we have trust in the coach’s systems.
“So, we are just going to go out there and stick to what we have to do and that will be enough to knock over teams.
“Obviously, we have to analyse each team that we play, but definitely stick to our structures, stick to our basics, focus on ourselves and do what we have got to do to get the results’’.
Rouse said the buzzword in their camp had been to give it their best shot and see where it takes them.
“We do have our expectations and we have talked a lot about it and guys just want to give 110 percent commitment.
“As long as we are committed to everything at each match, give 110 percent commitment, put bodies on the line , which I know we will do, there is nothing more we can ask of each other.
“There is great brotherhood here, we will give 110 percent commitment from start to finish, put bodies on the line without a question.
“Obviously, each individual has his own targets, but as a team we know our targets building into the game against Wales.
“We are going to do all we can to meet our targets and I can promise the nation that it is going to be 110 percent from the boy.’’
One of Nyamutsamba’s strongest areas is getting the best out of his charges and his players also have belief and faith in their coach. This should stand the Cheetahs in good stead.
Nyamutsamba said the Welsh, who also play on the European Series, ought to be respected for their experience at this level of the game.
“Wales have been playing some good rugby and are on top of their game, we are going to have a go at them,’’ Nyamutsamba said.
The Zimbabwe coach also spoke of the changed format to the World Cup which will start with qualifiers to the Round of 16.
“This year’s format has its own advantages in that it quickly separates the ranked teams. However, some smaller teams, including us, would prefer to play as many of the top-ranked teams as possible as this gives us more value and the experience,’’ Nyamutsamba said.