Zimbabwean clubs dominated the Zambia Independence Rugby 7s Challenge with FS Raiders successfully defending their title in the women’s category while Harare Sports Club emerged victorious in the men’s category in the competition which was played in Lusaka on Saturday.
Harare Sports Club, who are under the mentorship of former Cheetahs player Tafadzwa Mhende, capped off a successful tour by defeating Zambian side Buffaloes 29-10 in the final.
Sportivo were impressive during the one-day competition as they followed up on their good run on the domestic circuit by finishing unbeaten in the Zambian tourney.
They finished top of Group C following victories over Zambian sides Diggers (33-5) and Beavers (17-0) before dismissing Zambian side Leopards 1-7-5 in the Cup quarterfinals.
In the semi-finals, Harare Sports Club secured an identical 17-5 victory over Red Arrows to book a date in the final against Buffaloes, who had earlier caused an upset by knocking out one of the pre-tournament favourites Spartans in the semi-finals.
Spartans are a Gaborone-based rugby sevens side whose roster is made up mostly of Zimbabwean players based in Botswana.
They were among the favourites for the title but came up short against Buffaloes in extra time after the two teams settled for a 12-12 draw in regulation time.
After Buffaloes’ exploits in the semis, Harare Sports Club needed to put on a solid performance to avoid any slipups in the final and to their credit, they produced another dominant display to be crowned the champions.
Meanwhile, in the women’s competition, FS Raiders were yet again in a class of their own as they successfully defended their title following a clinical 31-0 victory over Old Georgians in an all-Zimbabwe final.
Only five out of eight invited teams managed to turn up for the Zambian Independence Rugby 7s Challenge which resulted in the women’s competition being played in a round-robin format.
The Lissy Wasarirevu-coached Raiders side got their campaign off to a solid start defeating one of the pre-tournament favourites Red Arrows from Zambia 17-05 in their opening game of the tournament.
After the opening win, Raiders won their next three matches without conceding a try as they outclassed Old Georgians (21-0) as well as Harare Sports Club and Renegades with identical 29-0 score lines.