Cheetahs continue to struggle

By Larry Trusida

Zimbabwe Sevens team, the Cheetahs struggled at the just ended Rugby Africa Solidarity sevens camp in Stellenbosch South Africa as they only managed to bag only two victories in 15 matches.

The Cheetahs concluded the two week’s camp with a 37-6 loss to old foes Uganda, at the Solidarity camp.

The defeat was their 13th at the camp that was organized by Rugby Africa to prepare teams for Olympics and the Olympics’ qualification repachage tournament set for Monaco next month.

Zimbabwe has already been drawn in a difficult group where they are facing pacific giants, Tonga and Samoa, as well as Mexico, and the Cheetahs need to top that group to stand any chance of qualifying for the Olympics.

Veteran outside, Riaan O’Neal however believes the team is moving in the right direction despite the dismal results.

“We are making progress. Remember we haven’t been in action for a long period and we never really trained as a group prior to this tournament, but you can see as the tournament progressed we were starting to play better.

“ I am happy for the young lads in the team they are doing well and we need to integrate more and prepare ourselves well for the coming tournament in Monaco where I believe we will compete because we have had game time as a team,” said veteran Cheetahs player, Riaan O’neal.

On the other hand, analysts believe the team is not evolving.

“We can argue about the pandemic and all, but the truth of the matter is, before the pandemic we were struggling. We haven’t evolved as a nation. We use old reining methods and we are stuck to the same players who we know are not good enough at the expense of other talented youngsters who are coming up,” rugby analyst Brian Matamba said.

The Cheetahs need to quickly dust themselves up as they are left with just over a fortnight before they go to Monaco.

Meanwhile, the Sables players have started trooping into camp ahead of test against Zambia and Namibia next month.

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