Rugby Rugby

Kenya beats Zim to clinch Victoria 7s title

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Assistant coach Will Webster talks to his players during a past match. Photo/RAGA HOUSE

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 24- Kenya survived a nervous second half before beating hosts and defending champions Zimbabwe to the Victoria Sevens title at the Victoria Falls School Ground on Sunday evening.

Two unconverted first half tries from debutants Levi Amunga and Brian Wahinya, both who turn out for Kenyatta University side BlakBlad saw the second string squad, led by senior team assistant coach Will Webster pick the title in their debut.

Zimbabwe came back an improved side after the break with Riaan O’Neil dotting down on the left to half the deficit, but Kenya held their nerves to pick the title.

 

Kenya had a good start to the tie and the stat in the first half showed just how dominant they were. Of the 12 tackles they attempted, they missed only once while the hosts attempted only five tackles and had only three being successful.

Amunga, on his first outing with the national team showed shy he should be considered for the bigger assignments when he dotted down from a 50-metre sprint, after Kenya had won back possession from a Zimbabwe scrum.

The Blakblad player spotted space after the ball was swung to his direction in the right, stepped back to the left and put on the after burners to sprint away to the try line, greasing through two tackles on the way.

His teammate Wahinya had the easy task of booting home the conversion under the posts but he hit the upright.

Another mistake in the scrum by Zimbabwe saw Wahinya make amends when the scrum half picked the ball straight on to sprint away on the left beating the sleeping Zimbabwe backs.

In the second half though, the defending champions came spirited. They kept possession straight from the restart and O’Neill found some space on the left after a patient build up and touched down.

Kenya’s charge was further punctured when Frank Wanyama was sent to the sin bin for a high tackle and Zimbabwe kept possession in an attempt to take the numerical advantage.

There were some nervous moments after Kenya finally won the ball back with less than 50 seconds left, but lost it again from a knock on.

Fortunately, Zimbabwe could not do much with the possession won and Kenya forced an error into a penalty and with the buzzer gone, kicked the ball out to preserve the win.

Shujaa won the tournament unbeaten and had met the Zimbabwe side in the groups winning 14-12. They had beaten South African side False Bay 17-0, Zambia 36-0 and Lesotho 52-0 in the other group matches on Saturday.

In the quarters, they were no match for Spartans, winning the tie 43-0 before beating Uganda 17-0 in the semis. The Ugandans ultimately won bronze after beating Zambia in the play-off.

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