Kenya withstood a late fightback by the Blitzboks to claim a 14-12 victory at the Cape Town Sevens. JON CARDINELLI reports.
Kenya deserved this result. They were the more physical and more accurate of the two teams. They held their nerve right until the final whistle, and when it eventually sounded, the players celebrated wildly.
By contrast, the Blitzboks lacked physicality. They made too many errors with ball in hand and their composure left a lot to be desired.
There was a moment in the first half when they brought the 48,000-strong crowd at the Cape Town Stadium to its feet. Justin Geduld unleashed Seabelo Senatla on the South African side of halfway. The speedster ran all of 60m to complete the score that propelled the Blitzboks into a 7-0 lead.
Thereafter, Kenya took control. Collins Injera broke two tackles to score a try. Willy Ambaka added a second for the Kenyans right on half-time. A superb touchline conversion by Biko Adema saw Kenya taking a 14-7 lead at the break.
The Boks failed to improve as the game progressed. They eventually scored when Juan de Jongh found Chris Dry with a beautiful long pass. But the quality of that pass was the exception rather than the norm in this particular contest.
Justin Geduld missed the ensuing conversion, and that meant the Blitzboks needed to score again to clinch the result. Most felt the moment had arrived when Cheslin Kolbe crossed the line, but the TMO subsequently ruled that the ball had been knocked on.
South Africa enjoyed one further opportunity after the hooter. Unfortunately, they only succeeded in knocking the ball on. The Kenyans cheered in reaction to the mistake, while the South African fans in the crowd groaned.
The Blitzboks now need to beat England in their final Pool B match to secure a place in the Cup quarter-finals.
BLITZBOKS' RESULTS (DAY 1)
South Africa 26 Zimbabwe 5
South Africa 12 Kenya 14
19:56: vs England (match 24)
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