• Kenya and South Africa gun for 7’s Gold

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Oct 10, 2010-Kenya and South Africa are the only two African teams expected to challenge New Zealand and the big guns when the Commonwealth Games seven-a-side ruby program kicks off on Monday.

Drawn in a tough Pool C which as the current International Rugby Board Sevens Series - Samoa -, Kenya who close the first day of competition with the Pacific Islanders must first navigate their way through a tricky Malaysia and Papua New Guinea. In recent times, Kenya has upset some of the best in the shorter version of the game to be taken lightly.

Selection of the team to Delhi raised eyebrows and over reliance on some of the key players could present Kenya’s opponents with an opportunity to advance. Unpredictable is Kenya’s other name. When firing on all cylinders, Kenya will beat the best teams but again, the Kenyans also struggle against ‘smaller’ teams.

Injury and absence of some key players has severely weakened the South African team. It will be interesting if coach Paul Treu can urge his charges to do the impossible of winning a medal of any color.

Uganda, Africa’s other team has been drawn in a tough Pool D with England, Australia and Sri-Lanka. John Musoke who is coaching Uganda faces baptism of the fire especially following his choice of players for the club games.

New Zealand, the defending champions are the favorites. They won gold in Kuala Lumpur in 1998, Manchester in 2002 and then Melbourne in 2006. Other teams expected to gun for the gold are England, Australia and Samoa.

Pool A: New Zealand, Scotland, Canada, Guyana; Pool B: South Africa, Wales, Tonga, India; Pool C: Samoa, Kenya, Papua New Guinea, Malaysia; Pool D: England, Australia, Sri Lanka, Uganda

Day One Order of Play

Monday 11th October 2010(India time)
South Africa v Tonga (9.00), Wales v India (9.22), New Zealand v Canada (9.44), Scotland v Guyana (10.06), England v Sri Lanka (10.28), Australia v Uganda (10.50), Samoa v Papua New Guinea (11.22),  Kenya v Malaysia (11.44), South Africa v India (12.06), Wales v Tonga (12.28), New Zealand v Guyana (12.50), Scotland v Canada (13.12),  England v Uganda (14.04), Australia v Sri Lanka (14.26), Samoa v Malaysia (14.48), Kenya v Papua New Guinea (15.10), Tonga v India (15.32), Canada v Guyana (15.54), Sri Lanka v Uganda (16.26), Papua New Guinea v Malaysia (16.48), South Africa v Wales (17.10), New Zealand v Scotland (17.32), England v Australia (17.54), Samoa v Kenya (18.16). 

Eric Odanga

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COUNTRY G S B T
1 Australia 74 54 48 176
2 England 37 59 45 141
3 India 37 27 35 99
3 Canada 26 17 32 75
4 South Africa 12 11 10 33
5 Kenya 12 11 9 32
6 Malaysia 12 9 13 34
7 Nigeria 11 10 14 35
8 Singapore 10 10 9 29
9 Scotland 9 10 7 26
10 New Zealand 5 22 8 35
11 Cyprus 4 3 5 12
12 Northern Ireland 3 3 4 10
13 Samoa 3   1 4
14 Wales 2 7 10 19
15 Jamaica 2 4 1 7
16 Pakistan 2 1 2 5
17 Uganda 2     2
18 Bahamas 1 1 3 5
19 Sri Lanka 1 1 1 3
20 Nauru 1 1   2
 
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