Amonde: We have to get that Olympics ticket

By the punter
Nov 14, 2021
  • Biko Adema scored one try one the opening day of the Africa Zone of Olympics qualifiers at Bernard Stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Kenya and Zimbabwe are likely to meet in the final of the Africa Zone of the Olympics qualifiers on Sunday at Bernard Stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa.

The two top teams in the shorter version of the game in Africa plotted their way to the quarter finals in contrasting styles at the completion of the opening day.

Kenya conceded only five points in their match against Mauritius whom they beat 50-5. They then despatched Senegal 27-0 in an uninspiring performance before overwhelming Madagascar 46-0 to finish top of Pool A.

Zimbabwe had a scare before winning 31-12 against a physical Nigeria in their opening match. The Cheetahs then clawed Zambia 48-0 and Uganda 43-0.

After the opening day, the teams were ranked again and Kenya finished top followed by Zimbabwe and Namibia.

The Namibians were on the verge of losing to a spirited Morocco in their opening match before winning 24-21 at death when one of the Moroccan players was sent to the sin bin and Namibia used the numerical advantage to score.

In the quarter finals, Kenya will be up against Madagascar in the upper half of the draw while Zimbabwe play Nigeria. In another re-match, Namibia will be up against Morocco while Tunisia face Uganda.

Andrew Amonde, the Kenya Sevens captain summarized Saturday as well executed but admitted Kenya was not tested very much. He warned Kenya could not afford to relax. "We expect competition from the teams we will meet on Sunday. We can't underrate anyone now."

Relaxed against Senegal

The captain admitted Kenya relaxed a bit against Senegal despite winning 27-0. He believes the quarter finals will be tough. "Playing against Madagascar will be difficult because we have played them and they know what to expect from us."

With day one dusted and Kenya maintaining their top seed, Amonde confirmed the team was still focused. "We have to get that ticket to the Olympics."

The captain acknowledged that although there has been a good blend with new players coming in, there was still a lot of work to be done. "We have worked very hard with new guys coming into the team to settle down well. Today things looked okay. We hope they will work during our trying times."

Kenya 50 Mauritius 5

Shocked by a first minute try by Mauritius, Kenya bounced back to easily win 50-5. Willy Ambaka, Billy Odhiambo and Andrew Amonde replied with a try each and Eden Agero converted all for a 21-5 lead at half time. On resumption, Odhiambo completed his brace with Collins Injera, Jeff Oluoch Frank Wanyama and Biko Adema crossing the line once each. Three of these tries were converted.

Kenya 27 Senegal 0

Following their big win against Mauritius, Kenya appeared to struggle against a spirited and nippy Senegal side but again kept a clean sheet winning 27-0. In this match, Collins Injera, Billy Odhiambo and Jeff Oluoch scored a try each with Biko landing one conversion for a 17-0 lead at half time. In the second half, Frank Wanyama and Oscar Ayodi added one try each.

Kenya 46 Madagascar 0

Kenya came back with a bang against Madagascar and conceded no try to confirm a top finish in Pool A. Frank Wanyama, Eden Agero and Collins Injera scored a try each while Eden Agero added a conversion as Kenya led 17-0 at halftime. There was no let off in the second half when Leonard Mugaisi, Frank Wanyama, Collins Injera, Willy Ambaka and Dennis Ombachi added one try each. Adema and Agero added one conversion each.

Kenyan tries: Collins Injera (4), Frank Wanyama (4), Billy Odhiambo (3), Willy Ambaka (2), Jeff Oluoch (2), Andrew Amonde, Eden Agero, Biko Adema, Oscar Ayodi, Leonard Mugaisi, Dennis Ombachi.

Ranking after day 1: Kenya, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Uganda, Tunisia, Morocco, Nigeria, Madagascar, Senegal, Mauritius, Botswana, Zambia.

Cup quarters: Kenya v Madagascar (11.44), Uganda v Tunisia (12.09), Namibia v Morocco (12.34), Zimbabwe v Nigeria (12.59). Bowl semis: Senegal v Zambia (11.00), Mauritius v Botswana (11.22).

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 19 Mauritius 17; 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.