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Zim Women’s Sevens enjoy perfect SA outing

VICTORIA FALLS-THE Zimbabwe national women’s sevens rugby team had a good outing at the inaugural Hermanus Sevens held in the Western Cape, South Africa on Saturday despite challenges faced by coaches to assemble the team.

The invitation was at short notice thereby forcing coaches to hurridly assemble a team of 12 youthful players from Harare because of lack of funding to scout for other girls across the country.

They held five training sessions before leaving for the 12-team tournament.

Team manager Jacqueline Chironga-Jani has appealed for sponsorship for the women’s rugby.

“It was a good outing which will definitely help the team as we prepare for the Kwese Sevens Tournament coming up next month. We are continuing with training and will go into camp a week before the tournament,” said Chironga-Jani.

She said it was unfortunate that many people don’t believe in women playing rugby.

“Given what we have done and the way we have played as a team, I think it’s time communities give the girl child a chance by sponsoring women rugby,” she said.
The Lady Cheetahs won all their pool games and the semi-final before being hammered 36-0 by hosts South Africa in the final.

In their pool matches, the Lady Cheetahs walloped Dolphins Rugby Club 29-0, University of Western Cape 38-0 and Titans 40-0.

After the pool stage, a draw for the winning teams was done and Zimbabwe beat Tygerberg 25-0 in the semi-final to book a final against South Africa.

Despite the 36-0 defeat, the Lady Cheetahs’ Gladys Makome was named player of the tournament.

Chironga-Jani said lack of fitness and exposure due to limited game time was evident in her side’s performances.

She, however, commended the team for showing character, considering the conditions.

Last year the team only competed in the Africa Women’s Sevens and 2019 looks like it will be a busy year as Zimbabwe is set to field two teams in the Kwese Harare International Sevens next month and Africa Cup Sevens, which is a qualifier for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. Chronicle

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