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Cheetahs’ Paris dream shattered

The Cheetahs had dared to dream early morning when they dispatched Madagascar 26-10 to book a semi-final berth against Kenya.

ZIMBABWE national Sevens rugby side’s hopes of making it to the 2024 Paris Olympics in France came crashing after being knocked out at the semifinal stage by the eventual winners of the Paramount Garments Rugby Africa Men’s Sevens tournament, Kenya, at Harare Sports Club yesterday.

Kenya beat South Africa Blitzboks 12-17 in the final, while Uganda won bronze after edging the Cheetahs 12-24 in the third place playoff.

The Cheetahs had dared to dream early morning when they dispatched Madagascar 26-10 to book a semi-final berth against Kenya.

With one foot in the final, Zimbabwe capitulated under pressure conceding two unanswered tries which were successfully converted.

Zimbabwe planted their own try moments later through Ryan Musumhi, but he missed conversion. At 5-14 before half time, the locals fancied their chances of crawling back into the match and but Kenya made it 05-21 with their third converted try just before the break.

The half time score was 05-21 and Brandon Mudekenyedzi would soon make it 10-21 with a try for Zimbabwe. Shadrack Mandaza missed the conversion yet again for the Cheetahs.

Kenya added two more converted tries to send Zimbabwe packing out of the Olympics hunt.

The third place playoff against Uganda saw the East African side avenging for their pool C top of the table clash defeat against the hosts beating Zimbabwe 12-24.

Zimbabwe drew first blood in that encounter with a try from Mudekenyedzi with Musumhi missing the conversion. Ugandan fought back to lead 05-10 at half time. They extended the lead to 05-17 with a converted try but with a converted try brought Zimbabwe back into contention om 12-17.

With the Cheetahs looking for a try to draw the match and possibly snatch it with a conversion, daggers were planted into the hearts of the local supporters as the tide went Uganda's way with a converted try to win the match 12-24 and claim third place.


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