NAIROBI, Kenya, June 29- Kenya shifted through the gears to book their place in the quarterfinals of the Rugby World Cup Sevens where they will take on France after beating Zimbabwe and Samoa to complete a sweep of Pool C matches.
Mike Friday’s charges followed up their 45-5 win over Philippines in their Friday opener with a 31-5 stuffing of Zimbabwe in their second before edging out their main rivals and sevens titans, Samoa 17-12 to make the last eight.
Kenya became the first side through to the quarters by beating Samoa thanks a late try from Michael Wanjala to send Friday’s side through as the second seeds and will meet France who came from 17-0 behind to draw 17-17 with Australia thanks to a penalty drop goal from Terry Bouhraoua.
South Africa’s Blitz Boks are seeded first in the last eight draw after completing their Pool B fixtures without conceding a point at the end of an enthralling second day of action at the Luzhniki Stadium.
Paul Treu’s side added 41-0 and 33-0 victories over Scotland and Japan to their defeat of the hosts on day one and will face Fiji in the quarter finals after the Islanders lost to Wales in the Pool E decider and enter as the second best runner-up.
In their crunch showdown against Samoa, former skipper Humphrey Kayange settled the nerves for Friday’s outfit when he touched down for the first try but Biko Adema missed the conversion.
Willy Ambaka extended lead with a second try with Adema getting his range to give Kenya a 12-0 lead at the breather.
Substitute Lio Lolo went over and Alatasi Tupou converted just over two minutes into the second half to make the game a five point affair.
Lolo got his second try with just over a minute left to the final hooter to level matters with Uale Mai missing the conversion that would have given his side the lead.
That set the stage for Wanjala to be the hero right at the death as Samoa crashed out of the Main Cup despite finishing second in the Pool.
In their second tie, Zimbabwe made life difficult for Kenya early on, dominating the early exchanges but Adema settled the nerves by dummying his opponents before grounding the ball, his unconverted try putting his side 5-0 up.
Kenya ate into Zimbabwe’s territory and Felix Ayange scored his third try of the tournament, Adema missing the conversion with the scores at 10-0.
Ambaka would score the simplest of tries, Adema’s conversion putting Kenya 17-0 before Tafadzwa Chitokwindo pulled one back for the Cheetahs, 17-5 the half time scores.
Kayange punished a mistake from the Cheetah’s on the restart, scoring under the posts with Adema converting for a 24-5 lead before Oscar Ouma sealed the deal for Kenya, his try and Lavin Asego’s conversion handing them a 31-5 result.
Their clash against France will be played at 1.06pm local time (+3GMT) with the sides having met once before where Kenya won their Bowl Quarterfinals 12-7 in the 2001 edition in Mar del Plata, Argentina.
Fiji v South Africa 12.00pm
New Zealand v Wales 12.22pm
England v Australia 12.44pm
Kenya v France 1.06pm