ADELAIDE, April 3 – This was another chance for Kenya to show the world who they really are and that a fortnight earlier was not a flash in the pan.
Grouped against West Indies (an unknown entity), Scotland (our perennial headache) and America (a very improved side in the last year).
Persistence rain on the days leading to the tournament were not an encouragement to the boys since the weather was gloomy and there was no sun to brighten our spirits but we had to put everything behind and carry on with the business that was going to give numerous Kenyans an excuse to have a beer or two and punch the air with excitement and be proud to be Kenyans.
West Indies came up first and having not known how they play, there was little to tell the boys technically to assist in achieving a good result so we kept to a simple game plan.
The pitch was wet and ball there was an awful first kick that we never retrieved and that was the mistake that culminated in us conceeding the first try.
our error rate was high and the game slow but we manged the three mandatory tries that are set down as a minimum.
Scotland was always going to be a tricky game since we had beat them several times before they finally gave us a slap back in Wellington in the group stages.
We approached the USA game very cautiously since in our last meeting they denied us a slot in the semi final of San Diego leg so you can imagine the preparation for that game.
The ground and the football were a lot drier at this point so we settled down early and even with the narrow margin of win to our favour we had the game in control through out.
Eager to find out who our main quarterfinal opponents were going to be, we were delighted when told it would be the All Blacks-this was another opportunity to rubber stamp our move to the top tier sevens playing nations by pulling one against New Zealand.
Waking up that morning on the corridors of Marco Polo Hotel Hong Kong, you would have thought there was a Christmas party planned instead of the game against Nz. The energy displayed by the boys’ body language and excitement for the day was admirable.
The game starts with us having possession for four minutes straight and it’s at that point that it was clear that we were going to win that game.
Never in my life have I seen such a good team look so desperate like All Blacks were looking did in that match. We were strong in the breakdown big on our tackles and run any possession we had.
The result was never in doubt even though 10-7 looked close and a few minutes later we learnt that we were to play Fiji in the semi final.
Now that would be tough given that we had stopped them getting to the top of the world cup in Dubai a fortnight earlier.
They came fired up and plugged in the holes and having played them the week leading to the tournament they knew what to expect. In the end a sad loss to the eventual winners who were really deserving of the trophy.
Off to Hong Kong to try and realize our dream.