• Cullen’s chance to silence critics
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Oct 11, 2010-Gray Cullen, the Nondescripts backrowman has a chance to prove his detractors wrong when he steps on the pitch to play against Malaysia when the Commonwealth Games seven-a-side rugby starts on Monday.

When he steps on the pitch, Cullen will be probably the first white man to don a Kenya seven-a-side jersey!

Kenya plays Malaysia - who replaced Namibia - from 2.14 pm (Kenya time) before meeting Papua New Guines at 5.40 pm and winding up against International Rugby Board World Series champions Samoa at 10.46 pm in the final match of day one.

Coach Benjamin Ayimba has named a formidable starting line up which has Humphrey Kayange, Bryan Nyikuli, Cullen, Sidney Ashioya, Lavin Asego, Collins Injera and Horace Otieno. The line up will give Kenya a chance to use the penetration of Kayange and speed of Injera in open play. Ayimba may also use Injera as a decoy with Otieno running off him.

Speaking to sportsnewsarena.com from India, Injera affirmed that everybody was looking forward to the first match. He said the team was in high spirits and were looking forward to a good outing. The Mwamba utility back who must have flinched at the 65-5 loss at the hand of Impala on Saturday when the Kenya Cup league kicked off summarized Kenya’s mission against Malaysia. “It is try time.”

Team-mate Otieno was looking forward to his first Commonwealth Games. “This is a big stage and Kenya Sevens has a name which is enough to lift up the spirits of every player,” he said. The Mwamba player is a gritty customer and is often used by Ayimba as a substitute player. Every time he comes off the bench, it is likely he will score a try.

The same sentiments of confidence were shared by vice captain Gibson Weru and Kenya Harlequin player Sidney Ashioya.  Kenya needs to win the two opening matches to qualify for the main cup quarter finals where they are likely to face either England or Samoa. Nigel-Stammer Smith, the voice of Sevens Rugby ranked Kenya as one of the teams who may cause an upset.

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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