By Lawrence Trusida
THE Zimbabwe Sevens Rugby national team, the Cheetahs started their Rugby World Cup campaign on a poor note after going down 31-7 to Canada in Cape Town, South Africa this Friday.
Playing in the second match of the tournament in front of a very supportive crowd, Zimbabwe had a brilliant start as Ryan Magaramombe doted down the first try before Bryn Musimhi put finishing touches with a conversion.
With Zimbabwe looking to build on the momentum, the North Americans struck back to level the match courtesy of a try by Jack Theil while Brock Edgar added the extras.
That setback shook the Cheetahs as they failed to bounce back from conceding just after they took the lead and Canada duly punished them.
Canada added three more tries and a conversion as they ran away with the match.
The Cheetahs looked shell-shocked and they had no answers to the skills of their opponents.
Based on the display in the 14 minutes, 31-7 was a fair result.
“We are obviously disappointed, we are vetted with our performance at a stage like this you need to bring your A game from the start, but that is not what we did, we took our foot off the pedal and we paid the prices, said Cheetahs Captain, Kudzai Masawi.
Zimbabwe will now face Hong Kong this Saturday in the Bowl Cup after the Asians lost 19-7 to Uruguay.
A win for the Cheetahs would have guaranteed a top 16 finish and a chance to fight for the overall World Cup.
In other matches played, Samoa thumped Uganda 33-7, while Ireland brushed aside Portugal 24-0, with Kenya beating Tonga 19-0.