NAIROBI, Kenya, November 29- One had the feeling that it was ordained to happen. Paul Treu will face the side he coached for eight seasons when Kenya face his home nation South Africa in the Main Cup quarters of the Emirates Dubai 7s.
Having led his new charges to finish second in Pool A behind the New Zealand on Friday, this is the fixture the man who is out on his first assignment with his new charges must have dreamt off when the draw was conducted.
To qualify to meet the team he led to the HSBC World Series title three seasons ago, Kenya fell to the might of the All Blacks in a 40-0 mauling in their final group fixture as South Africa won all their fixtures to top Pool B.
“We are trying hard. The boys are really catching up and adapting to the South African style of play of our new coach. We are relaxed because we are taking everything one step at a time,” captain Andrew Amonde said after the side qualified for the last eight.
Tomasi Cama, Sam Dickson, D J Forbes, Tim Mikkelson, Sherwin Stowers and Ambrose Curtis ran in six unanswered tries as New Zealand underlined their credentials as the team to beat in their rout.
“We have come on and some of the new younger guys have pushed themselves into the top starting seven, which is great and there is a lot of competition for places in a strong squad on paper.
“A bit scratchy this morning against France but we have kicked on and it’s about building confidence, and playing as a team. 40 points on the boar against Kenya is great for us,” their coach Gordon Tietjens said.
Kenya set their qualification platform by beating Portugal 10-7 in a nervy opener with a last minute Collins Injera try settling the contest.
Injera again and Horace Otieno went over the try line for a 14-7 victory over France in the second match to secure their passage to Saturday’s Main Cup quarters.
Earlier, Treu who set his new charges a modest target as they continue finding their feet under his watch following his appointment earlier November stated his delight on his return to the circuit after his contract with South Africa ended in October.
“It is good to be back and we wanted to get over that one. It is always better to win ugly than not at all. It was a good start, and now hopefully we can get better throughout the day.
“We are going to set our own milestones and own targets, it is going to take a while for the guys to learn the new philosophies, but as I said it’s building momentum and hopefully now we can move forward to the Cup quarters,” Treu said after the Portugal game.
Elsewhere, defending Dubai 7s titleholders Samoa shockingly crashed out of the Main Cup quarters having lost to the Blitz Bokke and Argentina in Pool B.
They will now compete in the Bowl competition and face France, who lost all three of their matches on a sweltering day one at 7he Sevens arena in that competitions’ quarter finals.
New Zealand, Fiji, South Africa and Wales won all three of their pool matches to progress to the Cup quarter finals and will be joined by Scotland who had an anxious wait and qualified ahead of Australia after Michael O’Connor’s side lost to Wales.
Australia will be disappointed to have not made the Cup competition, while England, Kenya and Argentina all progressed as pool runners-up.
Series leaders All Blacks won all three of their matches against France, Portugal and Kenya, scoring 112 points and conceding just five, and will face Argentina.
-Material from IRBSevens.com used to compile report