Kenya beat Zimbabwe in Kwese rugby tourney

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VICTORIA FALLS: Kenya are the champions of this year’s edition of the Kwese Sevens Rugby Tournament after narrowly beating Zimbabwe’s Cheetahs 10-5 in the final in the resort town on Sunday.

The final was a tight contest besides both teams fielding their second string sides as they tried new combinations and players for next months’ sevens tournament in Hong Kong.

It was their second meeting for the tournament as Kenya Shujas beat the Cheetahs 14-12 in the round robin stage to finish top of group B with 12 points against the hosts’ 10 on Saturday.

The Cheetahs went on to see off Zambia in one of the semis while Kenya beat Uganda to set a date for an entertaining final.

In the Sunday’s final, Kenya were the first to test the waters and shocked the Cheetahs with two successive tries in the first half to close the stanza leading 10-0.

Zimbabwe replied in the second half through Riaan O’Niel and the match ended 10-5 as both teams missed the conversions.

The Cheetahs’ skipper Hilton Mudariki who is heading to the English Championship side Jersey Reds and Njabulo Ndlovu were on top of their
games despite the loss.

Kenya were making their first appearance at the tournament which is in its second year and beat Zimbabwe who overcame Namibia 24-7 in last year’s final.

Namibia didn’t take part this year.

Cheetahs coach Gilbert Nyamutsamba said he had learnt a lot from the tournament ahead of the Hong Kong mete which he said will be tough for

“This was always going to be tough because we didn’t have games since last year and we only trained for four days before coming here.

However, I am happy because we introduced new players.

“As for Hong Kong it is too close and all I can say is that we can’t lie to ourselves that we are going there to win but we are going to give our best,” he said.

His Kenyan counterpart, Will Webster, was, however, confident that saying, “We take a lot of positives from here. We got off to a good start and the young players were really good. We are ready for Hong Kong and we have been training well because it’s a big month coming next month.”

Zambia and Uganda settled for 3rd and 4th place respectively.

The other participating teams include Botswana Spartans, South Africa’s False Bay, Lesotho, Uganda, Zambia A and B as well as Goshawks and Zambezi Steelers from Zimbabwe.