By BS Mulavi
- Posted on: 01st Oct 2012 00:00:00 GMT +0300
The Kenya women’s rugby team went through day one of the Confédération Africane de Rugby (CAR) Women’s Sevens in Morocco with an unbeaten record to remain in the hunt for the region’s qualification place at Rugby World Cup Sevens next year.
Kenya opened their campaign in Rabat with comfortable wins over Morocco (36-0) and Zambia (36-0) before battling past Tunisia 7-5 to claim top spot in Pool C.
Marshalled by head coach Kevin Wambua, the team had dedicated their performance to former captain Aberdeen Shikoyi who died while playing for the national team against Uganda last year.
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Whoever claims the African title will become the 12th team confirmed for RWC Sevens 2013 in Moscow. Champions Australia, runners-up New Zealand, South Africa, USA and hosts Russia qualified directly with England, Spain, France, Netherlands, Ireland and Canada joining them through the regional qualifiers.
The remaining places will be filled by the South American champions and three qualifiers from the Asian qualifier, which takes place in Pune, India, on October 6-7. Fiji, the best, placed team behind Australia and New Zealand in the Oceania Sevens, will play in the Asian qualifier.
Not only are the girls playing for their former captain but they also wish to be emulate the success of the men’s team, who have automatically qualified for the Men’s World Cup by virtue of being a core team in the International Rugby Board Sevens circuit.
Neighbours Uganda had an equally impressive first day by beating Zimbabwe 12-5 and Senegal 22-0 to top Pool D. The withdrawal of Cameroon from the tournament meant Uganda only had to play two games.
Meanwhile in Nairobi, Kenya Commercial Bank rained on Homeboyz’s picnic by clinching the Homeboyz One Night Stand title. The Bankers beat the hosts 24-5 in a fast paced final under the floodlighting at the Nyayo National Stadium.
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The tournament experienced mixed fortunes in their third edition as they attracted more top teams and clubs like Kenya Commercial Bank and Mean Machine, but they witnessed a lower turnout mainly due to fans still inebriated by the Safaricom Sevens, which was held at the same venue last weekend.