We don’t expect any of our three games to be easy, Amonde

By eric odanga
Mar 21, 2013
  • Kenya 7s captain Andrew Amonde with selected captains of the teams competing in Hong Kong.(Photo:IRB)

The stage is set and the time for redemption is in Hong Kong. Kenya has blown hot and cold in the opening five tournaments and are as unpredictable as ever.

It has almost become a cliche for the commentators as they await who turns up for the Kenya team on the day.

On a good day, Kenya will beat the best in the business. It does not matter if you are the hosts (asl New Zealand).

On the same plate, Kenya will struggle against some of the non core teams as they did in the USA Sevens.

This season, Kenya has twice reached the semi-finals and once in the final. They have also struggled in the shield, the lowest of the four-tier tournament.

Preparations have gone well

The build up for Hong Kong has been overshadowed by the suspension of Collins Injera who has only played in three tournaments and raked in 16 tries!

The country and club saga punctuated with individual egos could come to the spotlight again when Kenya steps on the pitch on the opening day to play against USA.

Andrew Amonde, the Kenya captain spoke to Sportsnewsarena.com from Marcopolo Hotel in Hong Kong where all the teams are accommodated and said the preparations had gone well.

“We are raring to go,” he said. Since arrival, the players have had two sessions daily and visited the San Ko Po stadium.

On Thursday was the captain’s run and the Kenya Commercial Bank RFC utility forward believed the tempo will be set on the opening day in a tough Pool B which also has New Zealand, USA and France, teams which Kenya have beaten this season.

“We don't expect any of our three games to be easy. It will take hard work and the commitment of the boys to make to the next stage,” Amonde acknowledged.

Injera factor in Kenya team

But, the Injera factor would not go away with renowned TV commentator Nigel Stammer-Smith acknowledging that the Kenyan winger was a classy player whose presence in Hong Kong will be missed.

Coach Michael Friday, in an earlier interview with Sportsnewsarena.com said this was a chance for other players to fill in the gap left by Injera.

Sidney Ashioya, the assistant captain could be deployed to the wing where Injera usually features.

At the weekend, Injera played at flank for his Mwamba RFC team in an Enterprise Cup match against Impala and scored six tries, a possible record for the knockout competition.

Eden Agero returns to the team and some of the key players would be William Ambaka and Oscar Ouma. Never in the history of the IRB Sevens World Series has the competition been so stiff.

The opening five tournaments have been won by different teams. South Africa were winners of the last tournament in the USA while England beat Kenya in the New Zealand final.

New Zealand took the South Africa tournament staged in Port Elizabeth and Samoa were champions in Dubai while Fiji beat New Zealand in the opener in Australia.

After five tournaments, New Zealand, the most consistent team this season leads with 96 points with South Africa second on 73.

Samoa are third with 71 points ahead of Fiji who have 66. France are placed fifth with 59 points and Kenya sixth on 57. Completing the top ten teams are Argentina (53), Wales (44), England (42) and Canada (39).

Draw Pool A: South Africa, Wales, Argentina, Australia; Pool B: New Zealand, USA, France, Kenya; Pool C: Samoa, Scotland, England, Portugal; Pool D: Canada, Fiji, Spain, Hong Kong. Order of play Fiji v Hong Kong, Scotland v Portugal, USA v Kenya, Wales v Australia, Canada v Spain, Samoa v England, New Zealand v France, South Africa v Argentina, Fiji v Spain, Scotland v England, USA v France, Wales v Argentina, Canada v Hong Kong, Samoa v Portugal, New Zealand v Kenya, South Africa v Australia, Spain v Hong Kong, England v Portugal, France v Kenya, Argentina v Australia, Canada v Fiji, Samoa v Scotland, New Zealand v USA, South Africa v Wales.