DUBAI, March 7 – The dream lives on.
The national sevens rugby team demolished the reigning World champions Fiji 26-7 to qualify for the main cup semifinals at the Rugby World Cup Sevens in Dubai on Saturday afternoon.
Benjamin Ayimba’s boys were simply unstoppable against their Fijians dominating them in every facet of the game to run out winners and keep their dream of lofting the Melrose Cup alive.
Lavin Asego, Biko Adema, Humphrey Kayange and Collins Injera did the business for Kenya running in tries to give Kenya an historic win that saw Kenya reach the semifinals for the first time ever.
“It feels the best. It’s been three long seasons and this is where we are reaping reward. The boys were charged. They simply wanted it more and were hungry for victory and all I had to do was convince them they can,” said Ayimba.
The victory was made even sweeter as it was the first time Kenya had beaten Fiji in an IRB event with memories of a crushing 71-0 loss at the 1998 Commonwealth Games still fresh in Ayimba’s mind who played in that game.
“I am elated, I still haven’t comprehended it. When they thrashed us 71-0, I promised myself that o would not leave until we become world champions and hopefully this will be it,” said Ayimba.
Skipper Humphrey Kayange was just as thrilled, “It feels very good, we worked really hard and it paid off. Now we have to recover and go for another one.”
Kenya’s reward for beating Fiji is a semifinal a match up against Argentina who themselves caused a huge upset by beating South Africa 14-12 in the quarters.
“They are always very tricky and rugged. We have to be composed especially on the breakdowns coz that where they thrive on but if we do it well there we should be ok,” he observed.
Lavin Asego set Kenay on its way with the crucial try which he converted for a 7-0 halftime lead.
Victor Opong Oduor then superbly created the second with brilliant chip and chase before offloading to Biko Adema who raced on to score underneath the pots.
The Fijians Orisis Sareki then scored to bring the Fijians back in the game built the Kenyans boys would have none of it. Kayange scored the third try after another Oduor offload.
The boys could now sense victory and they challenged at every ball, in the scrum, break down and pretty much everywhere else and Injera rounded things off with his fifth try of the tournament.
Bring on the Pumas!