Zimbabwe's bid to play with the big boys in the HSBC Sevens World Series next season ended in frustration after a 38-5 defeat against Ireland in the quarter-finals of the qualifying competition at the Hong Kong Sevens yesterday.
Anthony Eddy's side will face Japan in the semis, as they bid to secure a place on the elite World Sevens circuit in 2019 while Germany and Chile will contest the other semi-final.
Ireland's place in the last four was virtually secured by half-time of their clash with Zimbabwe, as they went into the break leading 26-0.
John O'Connell, Hugo Keenan, Ian Fitzpatrick, Shane Daly, Terry Kennedy and Bryan Mollen crossed for Ireland, with Hilton Mudariki scoring a consolation for the Cheetahs.
Gilbert Nyamutsamba's men had earlier sneaked into the knockout stage of the World Series qualifier after managing just one win in Pool F against Papua New Guinea (17-10) before losing to Germany (27- 7) and Hong Kong (19-14).
After a dispiriting campaign, Zimbabwe will know they still have a lot of work to do as they shift their attention to the Rugby World Cup Sevens to be held in San Francisco, USA, in July.