The Sunday News
Mehluli Sibanda, Senior Sports Reporter
ZIMBABWE started off their campaign at the World Rugby Sevens repechage with an impressive 21-0 over Mexico at Stade Louis II in Monaco on Friday.
The tournament is the final leg for next month’s Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan. Zimbabwe started things off against Mexico in Pool A.
Following a cagey opening four minutes, Zimbabwe’s Godfrey Magaramombe strode onto a pass from Ryan Musumhi and through a gap in the Mexican defence to score the first try of the match.
Both sides had a player sent to the sin-bin shortly before half-time and Zimbabwe coped best with the disruption as they kept Mexico pinned inside their own half at the start of the second period.
With around two-and-a-half minutes remaining Magaramombe turned provider as he gave a scoring pass to Sam Phiri on the right wing. There was still time for Munopa Muneta to put some gloss on the win with a third try late on.
“To be back on the field in a place like this is amazing. Playing these teams is the best and we’re all fighting for the last place [at Tokyo 2020],’’ Zimbabwe captain Boyd Rouse said afterwards.
Zimbabwe had the joy of being on top of the log standings overnight. That all changed as the action got into day two on Saturday when the Cheetahs were beaten 31-10 by Ireland. Samoa and Ireland recorded two wins on day two to push Zimbabwe to third place.
The Cheetahs take on Samoa late on Saturday in their third pool match before they meet Tonga on Sunday in their final group encounter on Sunday.