Zimbabwe’s women rugby sevens side will face Uganda in the quarterfinals of the Rugby Africa Women’s Sevens after progressing from Pool A on the opening day of the tournament at the Stade Municipal de Jemmal in Monastir, Tunisia on Friday.
The Lady Cheetahs got their campaign off to a perfect start after scoring a last gasp converted try to beat Senegal 14-12 in a pulsating encounter in which they came from behind twice to seal a crucial win.
After clearing the first hurdle, Zimbabwe faced an uphill task against neighbours South Africa, who have already qualified for the Women’s Rugby World Cup Sevens to be staged in Cape Town in September.
South Africa came into the match on a high after 53-0 win over Senegal in their first match.
The Lady Cheetahs however put on a solid defensive effort to blank the Springbok Women’s Sevens in the early stages. It took the South Africans eight minutes to score against their northern neighbours when Liske Lategan ran strongly to put her side in the lead after a scoreless first half.
The SA attack was not great, with too many handling errors hampering their effort, but strong defence pinned the Zimbabweans in their half of the field.
They were forced into errors, with Nadine Roos and Lusanda Dumke both getting five-pointers from turnovers to secure a 15-0 winning margin.
Zimbabwe will now face Uganda in the quarterfinals. The East Africans, who kickstarted their campaign with 15-5 win over Zambia will go into the last eight match favourites after upstaging one of the pre-tournament favourites Kenya 10-7 in Pool B.
The tournament follows a knockout format in which the teams, ranked according to their performance in the pool stage, will face off starting with the quarterfinals (then semi-finals and final), with the lowest-ranked team being eliminated.
Rugby Africa Women’s Sevens Quarterfinals:
Quarterfinal One: South Africa vs Zambia
Quarterfinal Two: Madagascar vs Ghana
Quarterfinal Three: Uganda vs Zimbabwe
Quarterfinal Four: Kenya vs Tunisia
The tournament is being streamed live on Rugby Afrique’s Facebook channel.