Olympic qualification consoles bereaved Kenya Sevens captain

By the punter
Nov 16, 2015
  • Nicknamed 'ghost worker', Dennis Ombachi (L) appeared like a ghost to score the decisive try that sent Kenya to the 2016 Olympics. (Photo Courtesy Africa Rugby)

Andrew Amonde, the Kenya Sevens captain has been receiving outpouring messages from players and fans following the demise of his sister on Saturday while he was leading the team during the Africa Zone of World Rugby Olympic qualifiers at Bernard Stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Team leader, Collins Injera, before boarding the flight back to Nairobi on Monday morning recalled how the team received the shocking news on Saturday.

"We got the news on Saturday evening and it was quite a somber mood but after talking to him, he was very strong and still willing to lead us on in this journey. We had to stay strong for him as he was strong for the team. He is an exceptional leader. We decided to do it for our brother Andrew and we did it," Injera acknowledged.

This perhaps explains the frame of mind by the Kenya team as they narrowly beat Zimbabwe 21-17 to clinch the Africa spot for next year's Olympics in Brazil.

After the opening day, sportsnewsarena.com interviewed Amonde from Johannesburg and he was determined as ever to lead Kenya to the Olympics where rugby returns after an absence of 94 years. "We have to get that ticket to the Olympic," a defiant Amonde stated.

He appeared calm when he spoke to sportsnewsarena.com before the team departed for Nairobi. The team is expected back at 3 pm.

There was no doubt that Kenya and Zimbabwe would meet in the final and the margin would be small. On the opening day, Kenya finished top of the 12-team ranking after conceding only five points.

Final

Kenya 21 Zimbabwe 19

His nickname if 'Ghost worker.' Officially he id Dennis Ombachi, who has gas to burn and a vicious handoff as a bonus. When Kenya appeared to be missing a ticket to the Olympics, it was Ombachi who turned on the screws racing 65 meters to score the winner. Amonde scored the opening try for Kenya and Eden Agero converted for a 7-0 lead.

Zimbabwe replied with two tries one of which was converted to lead 12-7 at halftime. On resumption, Collins Injera restored parity with a converted try for the lead to change hands 14-12 in Kenya's favor.

Zimbabwe replied with a converted try to 'seal' the game 19-14. Ombachi had other ideas scoring the decisive try.

Semi-final

Kenya 42 Tunisia 12

Frank Wanyama opened the scoring for Kenya and Biko Adema converted for a 7-0 lead. Unconverted tries by Eden Agero and Amonde stretched the lead to 21-0. Tunisia got one back before half time as they trailed 5-21. In the second half, Injera, Oscar Ayodi and Wanyama crossed the chalk line while Tunisia replied with a converted try.

Quarter

final Kenya 41 Madagascar 0

This was a repeat of the Pool A match between these two teams. In the first half, Ombachi scored three tries one of which was converted by Adema as Kenya led 17-0. They turns on the heat in the second half Leonard Mugaisi, Injera, Agero and Amonde added one try each. Agero added two conversions.

RESULTS

Cup quarters: Kenya 41 Madagascar 0, Uganda 14 Tunisia 19, Namibia 15 Morocco 17, Zimbabwe 27 Nigeria 10; Semifinals: Kenya 42 Tunisia 12, Morocco 0 Zimbabwe 26; Final: Kenya 21 Zimbabwe 19.

Play-off: Tunisia 12 Morocco 19. Plate semis: Madagascar 24 Uganda 7, Namibia 39 Nigeria 5; Final: Madagascar 17 Namibia 24.

Bowl semis: Senegal 10 Zambia 40, Mauritius 14 Botswana 17; Final: Zambia 14 Botswana 26.

Shield final: Senegal 5 Mauritius 40.

DAY ONE Results

Pool A: Kenya, Madagascar, Senegal, Mauritius. Kenya 50 Mauritius 5, Madagascar 33 Senegal 17, Kenya 27 Senegal 0, Madagascar 27 Mauritius 29, Kenya 46 Madagascar 0, Senegal v Mauritius.

Pool B: Zimbabwe, Uganda, Zambia, Nigeria. Zimbabwe 31 Nigeria 12, Uganda 47 Zambia 5, Zimbabwe 48 Zambia 0, Uganda 19 Nigeria 12, Zimbabwe 43 Uganda 0, Zambia 14 Nigeria 19.

Pool C: Tunisia, Namibia, Morocco, Botswana. Tunisia 24 Botswana 7, Namibia 24 Morocco 21, Tunisia 21 Morocco 17, Namibia 33 Botswana 0, Tunisia 10 Namibia 45, Morocco 42 Botswana 5.