By Sandra Khumalo
MIDLANDS State University (MSU) have been crowned champions of the Zimbabwe Tertiary institutions Sports Union(ZITISU) 2016 Rugby Sevens tournament held in Bulawayo at Hartsfield Rugby Stadium Monday.
The tourney saw six tertiary institutions vying for top honours in the rugby field at the one-day tourney.
The teams included Zimbabwe School of Mines (ZSM), Mutare Polytechnic College (MTC), Morgenster Teachers College (MTC), Belvedere Teachers College (BTC), Midlands State university (MSU) and Great Zimbabwe university (GZU).
In the first round of the games, MSU played against MTC and the latter were the victors by 35 to nil as shown by the 90 percent possession for the better part of the game.
The second game saw GZU facing off with BCT and it turned out to be competitive match for both teams as several minutes passed without any tries.
GZU however managed to score two tries which they failed to convert and landed them on 10 points to zero, in the second stanza GZU gained more ground and it led to their third and fourth tries giving them a 24 points win to Belvedere’s 12 points.
The third match was between ZSM and Morgenster where ZSM fielded a full strength squad which displayed skill with the oval ball granting them a 95 percent ball possession and ground advantage. ZSM dismissed Morgenster 26 to 7.
Mutare and Morgenster played a fast paced game giving Mutare 3 tries in the first half and more in the second and securing a 33 points triumph to 5 points at the blow of the final whistle.
The toughest sides of the tournament came head to head in the form of MSU and ZSM in the fifth game as they both amassed the same amount of points and drawing 19 all.
Mutare won the next game by 21 to 0 against GZU where they had most territorial advantage and speed. They went on to slow down their next game which was against MSU and it did not work to their advantage as they were beaten 14 to 5.
There was a shift in play of the games as GZU heroically withstood the lightning speed of ZSM players securing them a 33 points to 7 ahead of their opponents at the end of the game.
Semi finals had Mutare and ZSM playing against each other where ZSM got back on their feet very late in the game making up for their loss as they thrashed Mutare Technicon 49 to 7 points.
Waltzing into the finals was MSU and GZU. The one sided nature of the game in the second half together with the un-missed conversions was illuminated by the full time statistics which showed that GZU had a meagre 20 percent ball possession and 30 percent territorial advantage giving them a 12 points loss therefore the silver medal and MSU a 33 point victory with a gold medal at the end of the tournament.
ZSM were the bronze medalists, sitting on third place at the end of the tourney