Home » Sports » Hondo Pleased With Blitzbokke Training

THE Zimbabwe Sevens rugby side held their first training session with their South African counterparts with coach Daniel Hondo saying the hour-long match practice was very beneficial to his men.

Led by captain Jacques Leitao, the Cheetahs are in Stellenbosch, South Africa, at the Academy of Sport where they will also have their final training session with the Blitzbokke today ahead of both sides’ departure for the World Sevens Series Hong Kong tournament.

Hondo yesterday told The Herald he was impressed with the way his side’s structure took shape during the session as they also learnt a number of tricks from one of the world’s best teams.

“The session went very well, our defence structure worked well and we played against them for over an hour.

“I am happy to have done that (practiced with South Africa) because we got a lot out of it.

“The Blitzbokke helped throughout the session with some pointers,” said Hondo.

He also took time to go through all the sessions they have held in South Africa so far, since their arrival on Tuesday.

“Day one was a great day for us, we started off with fitness testing of the SA-based guys (Shayne Makombe, Biselele Tshamala and Njabulo Ndlovu) and then went on to a field session.

“We covered a lot of ground at the session and the players look sharp and can only build from there.

“The second session was an even better one for us and we looked more on our defensive structures. It was a fruitful day.”

Hondo feels the way they were training in South Africa will bring a difference to the Cheetahs squad in terms of environment and accessibility to resources.

“For starters, we are living at the same place (where they are also training) and no one has to find transport to and from session venues, we are staying at a facility full of professional athletes and we are training against the best,” said Hondo.

“Generally, I am impressed with the players’ skill level since day one and they can only improve.

“They are willing to learn and the fact that they are fighting for positions means they are showing the hunger in them for that jersey.

“Today (yesterday), we also had a mid-morning gym session, a late noon rugby session and on Friday (today) we are training with Blitzbokke (in the morning), and we will have an afternoon session.

“Then, on Saturday (tomorrow) morning, we will have a (field) training then a gym session followed by a recovery session.”

However, Hondo also indicated that not all the players were in camp as winger, Tafadzwa Chitokwindo, is back in Germany where club commitments have forced the Cheetahs technical team to meet up with the player in Hong Kong.

Scrummy Hilton Mudariki will not make it for camp due to college commitments but will also join the team in Asia.

Cheetahs Squad:

Fortunate Chipendu, Tafadzwa Chitokwindo, Kudakwashe Chiwanza, Takudzwa Francisco, Stephan Hunduza, Graham Kaulback, Jacques Leitao, Kilvan Magunje, Shayne Makombe, Mkhulili Ndlela, Njabulo Ndlovu, Riaan O’Neill, Boyd Rouse, Biselele Tshamala, Hilton Mudariki

Coach: Daniel Hondo

Assistant: John Ewing

Manager: Steve Macdonald

Source : The Herald