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OLD GEORGIANS believe the second round of the domestic Seven Summer Series on today will be much better in terms of quality, flair and skill as Harare rugby clubs clash at Prince Edward School.

The Dragons won the first edition, which they hosted last week in Groombridge, convincingly with a 45-0 embarrassment of former champions Harare Sports Club who were out of sorts in the final.

Like last week, schools are also going to feature at the tournament with the Bulldogs hoping to maintain their good form as they beat Hellenic School in the boys final.

However, a lot of attention will be in the club tournament that also has national team selection at stake as Cheetahs coach Daniel Hondo is looking at selecting the best possible players for the Hong Kong core membership qualifiers set for next month.

But for Old Georgians coach Grant Mitchell, it’s about improving the quality of rugby that will be on display and also about the development of his side.

“This weekend will be better than last (weekend). Spectators and fans should expect an improved performance from each team considering the additional training time we have all had,” said Mitchell.

“What should be exciting are the match-ups between national players, team-mates for Zimbabwe going head on with each other at club level.

“I am personally looking forward to those clashes.

“In addition, the schools tournament is great, it is showcasing the future of the game of rugby Sevens and we hope to see them committing to and representing the Cheetahs in seasons to come.”

Old Georgians have been a dominant force in local Sevens having grabbed the title from Harare Sport Club a number of years ago and it seems no club is ready to dislodge them from the top as they continue to sign quality players, their results being proof.

Last week several players, who include Stephan Hunduza, Tafadzwa Mukonyora, Jacques van der Bergh and Tendai Karikoga made their club debuts and impressed Mitchell and his technical team.

“We were very happy with our new recruits and debutants. They fitted into the match day culture well and protected our Dragons values out on the field.

“It showed that they are willing to fight for the badge. I was particularly impressed with two players.

“Tafadzwa Mukonyora was outstanding, his rugby abilities suit us well and he is one to watch. In the Dragons II side the Captain Kudzai Muzorewa was a colossus with his work rate.

“His tackle completion rate was exceptional and his collision authority outstanding. As such he was drafted into Dragons I for this tournament.”

Despite last week’s win, Mitchell feels that his boys need to work on mental strength

“They (the OGs players) are a talented and skillful group of players who apply themselves well in training and on match days. The Dragons II side held their own as a new group of Sevens players. We did fail to meet the pre-tournament objectives but they are work in progress and this weekend we will see improvements.

“The squad always sets personal objectives prior to each tournament and to each match and those objectives will remain in the team huddle.

“However, there is an expectation for both teams to improve on last weekend’s performances in all facets both on and off the field.

“A big area of improvement across the board is Self Management whereby players pay a big focus on the mental preparation, visualisation, focus to the team task, nutrition, hydration, time management and recovery strategies.

“It’s about achieving gold in our processes to play well,” said Mitchell.

Source : The Herald

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