The Zambezi Cheetahs were eventual 12-14 losers to hosts Zambia in the final of the Zambia International Sevens rugby tournament played at the Leopards Hill Polocrosse Club in Lusaka on Sunday.
By SportBrief Reporter
The Cheetahs went into the 10 team tournament looking to add to their trophy haul after winning the Kwese Sports Sevens in Victoria Falls back in March.
However, the Cheetahs bubble was burst in their first match as they lost 12-20 to Midlands Select.
But they showed great spirit to dust themselves off from that upset and claim victory in their next three matches as they dispatched Botswana 37-5, crush Lesotho 62-0 and overpower Zambia B 19-12.
That set up a semi-final encounter with Zambia’s President Select which the Cheetahs won 22-17 to progress to the final where Zambia awaited them.
It was a tightly-contested encounter as both teams were equal to the task but it was the hosts who reigned supreme.
The scores were level at 7-7 heading into the halftime break before Zambia went on to secure victory by a narrow margin, winning 14-12.
The Cheetahs coach Gilbert Nyamutsamba expressed delight at his team’s effort, adding that the tournament had been an opportunity to give young debutants a chance.
“Winning the tournament would have been the cherry on top. However, we came to Zambia with the main objective of rotating and seeing new players in a tournament environment, as this was a continuation of a selection process that started in February. We fielded four debutants at this tournament, leaving out seasoned players,” Nyamutsamba said.