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Kenya Sevens team loses to blacks

RUGBY By -BS MULAVI | May 13th 2013 | 3 min read
Collins Injera races towards the try line during day one action of the Marriott London IRB Sevens rugby tournament. [PHOTO: COURTESY IRB]

By BS MULAVI

Giants New Zealand win 7-0, make London Sevens finals

Kenya Sevens team will come back home with their heads held high after making a good account of themselves in the just concluded London leg of the International Rugby Board (IRB) Sevens circuit.

After registering two vital victories on the first day of the tournament against Wales and Canada, Kenya continued with their fine form on the second day, Sunday by beating Fiji 20-7 in the Main Cup quarters.

This was the first time Kenya has ever beaten Fiji in the IRB sevens circuit since its inception in 1999 and the team will be esctatic at this achievement.

Kenya has only beaten Fiji in the Sevens Rugby World Cup, but now they have broken the 14 year jinx and the future seems bright.

Arguably one of the best performances by the team in recent years, Kenya dominated possession against the Fijians and scored four tries. Oscar Ouma, scored a brace with Willy Ambaka and Humphrey Kayange, each netting a try.

This victory meant Kenya qualified for the Main Cup semi finals, where they met the reining champions New Zealand.

Hold advantage

The All Blacks had already beaten Kenya on the first day of the tournament in the group stages and national team was anxious to make things right, especially now that stakes were higher.

Having beaten Argentina 52-7 in the quarters, New Zealand were beaming with confidence, but Kenya were having none of that and gave the All Blacks one of the toughest matches they have witnessed in the nine-leg series. The champions could only manage to sneak through one try beating Kenya 7-0.

Kenya competely dominated possession in the first half and endured a series of crunching tackles in the first half to continue prodding the All Blacks.

New Zealand were surprised by just how well Kenya was able to recycle the ball and continue searching for a much needed try.

Tight defence

Despite the numerous runs into the New Zealand half, the Champs were able to hold still thwarting any effort by the Kenyans. This saw the game go to the halfway mark with the scores tied at 0-0.

By the blow of the final whistle in the second half only one try from Joji Baleviani separated the two sides much to the dismay of the Kenyan team.

This loss guarantees Kenya at least 15 points with one more game to go against England for the third and fourth position play-off in the tournament.

New Zealand were to play Australia for the final of the last tournament in the 2012-2013 Sevens circuit.

Meanwhile, Spain and Scotland won their respective semi finals in the core team qualifying competition to confirm their place as a core side on the 2013/14 IRB Sevens World Series.

Spain became the first side to join the top 12 sides after Carlos Blanco scored the winning try in an enthralling match to beat their Iberian neighbours Portugal 10-5 before Scotland proved too strong for Russia winning 19-0.

The two winning semi finalists knew a victory would ensure they played at all nine rounds on the next Series, while the losing semi finalists now meet in a play-off for the third and final spot, meaning Portugal now face Russia for the final spot.


 

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