From ELIAS CHIPEPO in Gold Coast, Australia –
New Zealand 54 Zambia 0
“THE boys really tried,” was how coach Musonda Kaminsa summed up Zambia’s trouncing as they debuted at Commonwealth Games yesterday.
The team endure three humiliating defeats and failed to get on the scoresheet in all three group matches.
Zambia started their campaign in the Men’s 7s Pool C with a whitewash defeat to the All Blacks before suffering identical 47-0 losses to Canada and then Kenya to exit the competition played at Robina Stadium.
“It was a great experience. Great opportunity for the guys to reflect and work out what we need to change,” Kaminsa said in a post-match interview yesterday.
Kaminsa said he did not put any target for his players because he knew they were placed in a tough group against the world’s best sides.
“It was a tough pool. We just want to play well and take it to the next chapter. We’re playing against guys who play every week, every fortnight. Our boys really tried hard,” he said.
In the opening game against New Zealand, Zambia fell behind as early as the 59 seconds through a Vilimoni Koroi try which was converted by Jurt Baker before Etene Nanai-Seturo added another try converted by Koroi in the fourth minute.
Kaminsa brought in Michelo Shelleni for Laston Mukosa in the fifth minute but that change did nothing to stop New Zealand from scoring another try in the seventh minute through Sione Molia and Baker making the conversion for a 19-0 first half lead.
The second-half saw Mikkelson added another try converted by Baker before Akuila Rokolisoa scored a converted try to make it 33-0 then Baker got his name on the tries list with Rokolisoa converting for 40-0.
Andrew Knewstubb scored a converted try as Reagan Ware placed a try for 52-0 and Knewstubb converted to give the final score of 54-0.
Canada 47 Zambia 0
In the second game, Canada also rode passed Zambia with ease as Mike Fuailefau scored a hat-trick of tries with Nathan Hirayama, Lucas Hammond, Justin Douglas and Andrew Coe scoring a try each while Hirayama converted six of them.
That result ended Zambia’s interest in the competition.
Kenya 47 Zambia 0
The last game dubbed ‘African derby’ was another one-sided affair that saw Kenya score seven tries with Eden Agero failing just one conversion to help his side finish second I the group and go through to the placings games after they beat Canada 26-10 having earlier lost 40-7 to New Zealand.
Nelson Oyoo and Jeffery Oluoch scored two tries each with Collins Injera, Billy Odhiambo and Arthur Owira on target with a try apiece.
New Zealand finished as group winners after they won all the matches and advanced as to the semi-finals.