The Sunday Mail
OLD GEORGIANS Sevens coach Graham Kaulback has heaped praise onto his predecessor Grant Mitchell, calling the former Zimbabwe international a “visionary” for the work and projects he has done at the Harare Metropolitan outfit.
In particular, is the team’s annual trip to Asia, for the Dubai Sevens, which the 49-year-old’s side inherited.
“Mitch (Grant Mitchell) is a visionary and a huge amount of credit needs to go to the legacy he created at the club.
“The yearly trips to Dubai have been a highlight on the club’s calendar and there we are privileged to get the opportunity to play against some of the best teams in the world.
“It’s hard to compete against the learning volume that can be banked from that week there. Our vision now, going forward, is to build on Grant’s legacy and provide more opportunities for our players to learn and compete in regional and international competitions throughout the year,” Kaulback said.
The Harare Metropolitan found the going tough this time around, winning one game of the four they played. Their defeats came at the hands of New Zealand outfit Speranza (31-10), a Japanese developmental side (31-5) and Russia (24-12); but they did manage to get the scalp of Russia’s developmental side, winning 29-22.
However, Kaulback has quashed talk of results, calling the trip itself a success and that is largely due to the experience and exposure on offer for his charges.
“The trip was hugely successful, bearing in mind that we are a small club playing against countries and other professional outfits,” Kaulback said.
“Results an issue? Not at all. When you look from the perspective that it is club vs country and we’re up there competing- even going as far as beating teams like the Russian development team, then it’s good going.
“The boys’ attitude towards performing and growing as a group — and as players — was outstanding.
“It’s always an incredible experience to expose a multitude of young and upcoming Old Georgians players to Sevens’ rugby on a global stage of the highest calibre,” he said. Kaulback heaped praise on “captain Kuda Chiwanza for being outstanding and leading superbly’’.
“Ngoni Chibuwe was a rock providing stability, strength and leadership upfront, and we did manage to welcome back Takudzwa Kumadiro, who was returning from injury.
“He did a great job too, “he said. There were also highlights for Kaulback and his boys off the pitch.
“The Dubai Sevens is always a special experience.
“This year, Emirates sent an Airbus really low over the stadium to commemorate the event which was spectacular.
“The whole event encompasses what rugby is about; competitiveness on the field and camaraderie off it, rubbing shoulders and talking/learning from the best Sevens players and coaches in the world,” said Kaulback.