Voice of Sport

We are disappointed, but we shall dust ourselves up and return, Amonde

In the lower tiers, Kenya beat Spain and Portugal to finish on a high in Hong Kong


IT was remarkable to see Kenya smile after winning the Shield in Hong Kong, shrugging off the disappointment of being knocked off the main competition in a dramatic tie with Wales on Saturday.

Kenya beat Portugal 17-10 in the Shield Final on Sunday after edging out a hard fighting Spain 10-5 in the semi-finals.

The Kenyan target was to contend for the Main Cup but a dramatic 7-10 loss to Wales in their second Pool “A” match on Saturday threw a spanner in the works and the apparently stunned side would slump to unusual standards, capitulating to fall 5-43 against Fiji in the final match in the preliminaries.

Slid lower

When relegated to the Bowl, Kenya did not raise their game and fell again to Scotland 12-26 in the quarter final of the competition and slid lower to the Shield.

After winning the Shield, Kenya captain Andrew Amonde summed it all up; that they were shattered by the loss to Wales, which happened with 20 seconds left in a match when they had possession.

“”What went wrong? It was just bad luck. We are disappointed at the moment. We ask our fans to be patient with us,” he said.

Wales however proved that they were no pushover. They went all the way to final of Plate and looked good to lift it, leading South Africa 14-5 before surrendering 14-19.

Scottish victory

Scotland were not bad either because they went on to thrash France 31-5 and take the Bowl. But that will not console the Kenyans who said they intended to bounce back and lift their game in the last two rounds of the Series — in Glasgow (May 3- 4) and London (May 10-11)

Looking forward to that Coach Paul Treu also said: “Our guys were devastated after the loss to Wales. Have to deal with setback better.”

Collins Injera also firmly became the third highest all-time try scorer in the IRB Sevens series. Needing two tries to surpass the 179 of Fabian Juries (South Africa), Injera had five on the weekend taking his total to 183 and only retired Ben Gollings (England) with 220 and Santiago Gomez Cora (Argentina) with 230.

Cup winners

Meanwhile New Zealand beat England 26-7 to lift the Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens, round seven of the HSBC Sevens World Series.

The win, inspired by captain DJ Forbes, puts them back on top of the Series standings, seven ahead of South Africa who won the Plate with Fiji a further 17 points behind having finished third as the defending champions in So Kon Po.

“It is a great feeling,” said an elated Gordon Tietjens the New Zealand coach.

“My captain lead so well from the front, he was simply amazing. And also the other players linked in with him, we played a good final.

“That puts us back on top now, it’s topsy-turvy now which means we need to start well in Scotland, but this will certainly help in going towards winning that title.”

Kenya results:

Friday:

v Sri Lanka won 41-0

Saturday:

v Wales, lost 7-10

v Fiji, lost 5-43

Sunday:

Quarter final Bowl:

v Scotland, lost 12-26

Semi-final Shield:

v Spain won 10-5

Final Shield:

v Portugal won 17-10

Additional reporting by Tom Chick for IRB  in Hong Kong