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So close yet so far

ADELAIDE, April 13 – After Hong Kong we set off for the south of Australia city of Adelaide for the 6th round of what had become an evenly competed circuit of the IRB sevens.

BENJAMIN_AYIMBADue to the distance and connections we could only manage to get to the sunny city on Tuesday late in the afternoon.

This left us with only a day to do proper training since the tournament was to start on Friday the 3rd. We however managed to talk to Fiji to have a friendly to sharpen ourselves.

Day one was against Japan – a dangerous side due to its speed and have some big boys upfront.

We approached the game with caution rather than arrogance as all we needed was a win to start as off and that we achieved beating them,12-7 a score which could have started off many sceptics.

A good night rest did as well and we were of to the field fairly early at half past 10 Saturday morning since the first match was at a little before one that afternoon.

Cook Islands are the sort of giant killers Kenya was two years back so as far as we were concerned this was the match of the tournament.

We eventually got the best of them 26-7 which was a good score setting us up for a good match against the leaders of the IRB circuit as it stood.

As you would expect, South Africa were not about to go down to kenya again and we wanted to put the point across that beating them in Wellington was not a fluke so we exchanged fierce tackles, fast and strong running and the intensity of the game rose by the minute.

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This was reflected in the eventual score of 15-14 in favour of Kenya sending us to top the pool. Fantastic!

Leading the pool meant a match up against Wales. We had played the world champions in quarters in Wellington quarter finals so we knew exactly what to expect and that showed ending with 33-7 victory for us.

This result set us up against Argentina winners of the San Diego leg and the reason we never won the world cup so I don’t need to tell you how the camp was looking forward to this.

A fired up ‘squad ya watu kumi na mbili’ starved the Pumas the ball all day long and the best rugby skills were on display which was to see Kenya make their first cup final.

For the first time in the 10 years there was an all Africa final as South Africa had battled through.

The series leaders were more rejuvenated and so hungry for a win, we were on the back foot only five minutes into the game. We managed a sole try through our captain Kayange in the first half and conceded two more tries to make it four against us.

We bowed out of a well fought weekend gathered 16 points and celebrated it with a lot of pride.

Now on our way home with 29 hours to travel.

Benjamin Ayimba is the national sevens rugby coach

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