Hard Questions Await Kenya Sevens Team

Dec 11, 2010

The way in which you lose determines whether there was some effort put or not. Kenya played a total of six games at the Emirates Airline Dubai Sevens, lost three on the opening day and won only one.

The body language against New Zealand who retained the title in George a showed it all and the big loss was not surprising. New Zealand improved on Argentina’s 43-0 humiliation in Dubai by winning 47-0 on friday.

Against England, it was a much better performance but the slump against Russia was unexpected. Innocent Simiyu’s send off could be used as a scapegoat. There were flashes of good promise against Namibia and Kenya won 41-0 with a completely changed line up, but this was Namibia! The reality match was against Zimbabwe in the shield final which Kenya lost 5-14.

From the statistics in Dubai, Kenya’s problem was errors which gave the opponents possession. Another area was missed tackles. Kenya was also weak in contact areas and any team which rushed Kenya’s defence ended up winning. When the team arrives back, hard questions would be asked whether they had the character out there. Coach Benjamin Ayimba will shoulder the blame but it is a collective responsibility.

Kenya will have to re-invent themselves for the remaining six tournaments of the IRB HSBC Sevens Series resume in New Zealand next year in February. The draws will be quite tough. The draw in New Zealand will be based on the performance in Dubai while the draw for the USA leg in Las Vegas will be done according to the performance at the Emirates Airline George Sevens.

In both tournaments, Kenya will be up against the big heavyweights. With good planning, it is not a mission impossible. Somebody should have foreseen the absence of key players for the opening two legs and put remedial measures in place long before the team was selected to guard against the hue cry. For now, the buck stops with the team’s management and the players.

Humphrey Kayange, the Kenya captain admitted the fatigue caught up with him after recovering from a fever. “I had recovered but I think fatigue of the two days caught up with me,” he told sportsnewsarena.com from George, South Africa.

Innocent Simiyu who was redcarded in the match against Russia had his six-week suspension reduced to three after an appeal by Kenya.

Three players at the Emirates Airline George Sevens, the second of the International Rugby Board HSBC Sevens World Series are brushing shoulders again after nearly one year. As fate would have it, these young players some of them barely out of their teens watched as their ‘heroes’ tackled the best.

Never in their wildest dreams would they have thought the would be sharing the same stage with the same players they had idolized. One year later, Zimbabwean Tafadzwa Chitokwindo, Patrice Agunda, David Ambunya (Kenya) and, Zach Test (USA) are part of their national seven-a-side teams. The trio were in Nairobi, Kenya for the 2009 Junior World Rugby Trophy.

The IRB HSBC Sevens World Series takes a break until February when the Series resume in New Zealand.

Day two results

Cup Quarter-finals
Wales 14 Samoa 19
Tries, Wales: Ifan Evans, Tom Isaacs; Conversions: Gareth Davies (2).
Tries, Samoa: A;afoti Fa’osiliva (2), Simaika Mikaele; Conversions: Fautua Otto (2).
South Africa 10 England 19
Tries, South Africa: Bernardo Botha, Cecil Afrika.
Tries, England: John Brake (2), Isoa Damudamu; Conversions: Ben Gollings (2).
New Zealand 26 Argentina 0
Tries, New Zealand: Tomasi Cama, Bryce Heem, Declan O’Donnell, Frank Halai; Conversions: Tomasi Cama (3).
Fiji 33 Australia 5
Tries, Fiji: Emosi Vucago (2), Seremaia Burotu, Mitieli Nacagilevu, Nikola Matawalu; Conversions: Emosi Vucago (4).
Tries, Australia: Bernard Foley.
Samoa 12 England 22
Tries, Samoa: Fautua Otto (2); Conversion: Fautua Otto.
Tries, England: John Brake, Dan Caprice, Isoa Damudamu; Conversions: Ben Gollings (2).
New Zealand 26 Fiji 19
Tries, New Zealand: Jackson Osmond, Declan O’Donnell, Frank Halai, Toby Arnold; Conversions: Tomasi Cama (2).
Tries, Fiji: Emosi Vucago, Seremaia Burotu, Saimoni Nuku; Conversions: Emosi Vucago (2).
New Zealand 22 England 19
Tries, New Zealand: Tin Mikkelson, DJ Forbes, Declan O’Donnell; Conversions: Tpbasi Cama; Penalty: Tomasi Cama.
Tries, England: Ben Gollings, Mat Turner, James Rodwell; Conversions: Ben Gollings (2)

Plate semis
Wales 21 South Africa 22
Tries, Wales: Tom Isaacs, Richard Pugh, Aaron Shingier; Conversions: Rhys Jones (2), Gareth Davies.
Tries, South Africa: Cecil Afrika (3), Kyle Brown; Conversions: Cecil Afrika.
Argentina 14 Australia 12
Tries, Argentina: Penalty Try, Diego Palma; Conversions: Joaquin Todeschini (2).
Tries, Australia: Ed Jenkins, Michael Hodge; Conversion: Hamish Angus.
South Africa 10 Argentina 5
Tries, South Africa: Frankie Horne, Bernardo Botha.
Try, Argentina: Diego Palma

Bowl Quarter finals
Scotland 14 Namibia 5
Tries, Scotland: James Fleming (2); Conversions: Andrew Skeen (2).
Try, Namibia: Attie du Plessis.
Portugal 7 Kenya 5
Try, Portugal: Diogo Miranda; Conversion: Pedro Leal.
Try, Kenya: Leon Adongo.
Russia 25 Zimbabwe 7
Tries, Russia: Vasily Artemyev (2), Ivan Kotov, Igor Galinovskly, Vladimir Ostroushko.
Try, Zimbabwe: Tafadzwa Chitokwindo; Conversion: Jason Graham.
USA 17 France 19
Tries, USA: Mark Bokhoven, Miles Craigwell, Roland Suniula; Conversion: Shalom Suniula.
Tries, France: Sebastien Max, Zambelli Thibaut, Redaud Delmas; Conversions: Paul Albaladejo (2).
Scotland 14 Portugal 10
Tries, Scotland: Struan Dewar, Fraser Harkness; Conversions: Andrew Skeen (2).
Tries, Portugal: Sergio Franco, Aderito Esteves.
Russia 34 France 0
Tries, Russia: Vasily Artemyev (2), Vladimir Ostroushko (2), Victor Gresev, Ivan Kotov; Conversions: Dmitriy Perov (2).
Scotland 26 Russia 0
Tries, Scotland: Andrew Skeen, Graham Fisken, Scott Riddell, Dougie Fife; Conversions: Andrew Skeen (3).

Shield Semi-finals
Namibia 0 Kenya 41
Tries, Kenya: Wilson Kopondo (2), Horace Otieno (2), Patrice Agunda, David Ambunya, Brian Nyikuli; Conversions: Gibson Weru (3).
Zimbabwe 19 USA 17
Tries, Zimbabwe: Gardener Nechironga, Manasah Sita. Tafadzwa Chitokwindo; Conversions: Gardener Nechironga (2)
Tries, USA: Marco Barnard, Zach Test, Roland Suniula; Conversion: Shalom Suniula.
Kenya 5 Zimbabwe 14
Try, Kenya: Brian Nyikuli.
Tries, Zimbabwe: Jacques Leitao, Gardener Nechironga; Conversions: Tangai Nemadire (2).

Eric Odanga

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