Zambia beat Blue Bulls to retain sevens title on home soil

Davy Chimbukulu of Zambia is chased down by Andrew Knewstubb of New Zealand during the Commonwealth Games Sevens earlier this year. Alex Pantling/Getty Images

Zambia proved unstoppable throughout the Zambia International Sevens Championship in Lusaka this weekend, with the hosts eventually retaining their crown after a 21-14 victory over the Blue Bulls in the final. Zambia won the inaugural event last year, when they faced Zimbabwe in the decider.

Both Zimbabwe and Zambia had fielded two teams, with the former's coach Gilbert Nyamutsamba insisting before leaving for Lusaka that he would only take a largely developmental squad.

The warning signs were evident from from the first day, as the Zambia Nkwazi posted the biggest winning margin of the event after a 62-0 thrashing of Malawi.

On the other hand, the Zimbabwe Cheetahs, who usually consist of first team players, overcame the Spartans of Botswana 19-7 to set up a semi-final showdown against the Blue Bulls, which they then narrowly lost 19-17.

Ironically, the Blue Bulls had struggled to overcome the Goshawks, who usually consists of Zimbabwe's reserve players, before prevailing 26-24 on the first day.

Zambia, meanwhile, were proving to be unstoppable hosts as they dispatched the Griquas, another side from South Africa, 26-10 to progress to the final.

Zambia sevens coach Andrew Kamisa expressed satisfaction with his team's overall performance. "The guys stood to the challenge, obviously when we got to the quarterfinals the games became tougher, but they really played well," Kamisa told KweseESPN.

"There is much improvement from last year. We really worked on our defence which I think really helped us in this final. I don't think we conceded more than five tries.

"The players all performed to expectations. Obviously our captain Israel (Kalumba) has picked up his game which is a very big boost for the team. And the senior guys still remaining from last year, their game has picked up as well."

Kamisa added that he would add one or two names to his team for another tournament in Lesotho as Zambia up their preparations for the Africa Men's Sevens tournament, to be held in October.