Saturday, February 2, 2013

Kenya: New Zealand's other National Team.

Stuff reports

If ever there was victory in defeat it belonged to Kenya after they finally succumbed to England in extra-time of a gripping final at the Wellington Sevens.
The scoreboard read England 24, Kenya 19 after Sam Edgerley ended a battle of wills to grab his country's second New Zealand title.
England were worthy champions, but the hearts of the crowd will long belong to Kenya who had the 30,000-strong throng riding every pass, tackle and fumble of the final. 
Even when twice reduced to six men due to yellow cards, the Kenyans managed somehow to will themselves to make tackles during regular time as they clung to a 19-12 lead.
The fairytale seemed it would come true when an English player fumbled the ball as he lunged for the line near fulltime.
It wasn't to be as Andrew Amonde and Oscar Ouma were sinbinned during the second half armwrestle to keep Kenya undermanned.

Kenya 21 South Africa 20
Kenya 19 New Zealand 14
England 24 Kenya 19

From the New Zealand Herald 

Kenya have produced one of the biggest upsets in the history of the international sevens circuit with a 19-14 semifinal win over New Zealand in Wellington tonight.

The African nation came back from 14-0 down with two second-half tries at Westpac Stadium before Oscar Ouma scored first in the sudden-death period of extra time.
Kenya hung tough though and fought their way back in to the game via second-half tries to Ouma and Collins Injera, with Injera's score coming after the hooter.
Then in the early stages of the extra period Ouma broke free to dot down and send New Zealand out of the tournament.
Kenya to get to the final had to over come South Africa and New Zealand. They very nearly prevailed over the combined rugby resources of South Africa, New Zealand and England. This a great African story played out in Wellington New Zealand.
Yesterday the Kenyans rewrote the International Sevens Circuit orthodoxy, or maybe the inclusion of Sevens in the Rio de Janeiro   Olympics was always going to change fortunes of the traditional super powers of the game. 
From a personal perspective I discovered that New Zealand had lost when Significant Others Nephew and Niece ( Our Teenager ) started going crazy as we were eating our dinner. My attempts to indoctrinate the All Black invincibility myth is clearly in tatters. That it was at the hands of an African team other than South Africa clearly made it a very special moment for them and on reflection for me. I was gutted that Kenya didn't beat England but delighted that they might as well have been in Nairobi as 30,000 Kiwis adopted a new team for the night. 


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