NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 12 – After losing 26-7 to Samoa in the Challenge Trophy semi-finals, Kenya bowed out of the Vancouver Sevens in Canada with five points, taking their season tally to 40 after six rounds of the World Rugby Sevens Series.
Having beaten the Samoans to the Challenge Trophy last weekend in Vegas winning 21-14 in the final, Gordon Tietjen’s men were coming for revenge and they earned it after outplaying Kenya in the game on Sunday night.
Alex Samoa dotted down first for the Samoans after an intelligent offload from Tila Mealoi, Samoa sprinting through the middle of the Kenyan defense and touching down under the posts. The conversion was good as Samoa led 7-0.
Another converted try took Samoa 14-0 up. Joe Perez won the ball way back close to the half-line, stepped inside after a small run on the right to evade Collins Injera’s attempted tackle and dotting down.
Shujaa should have at least halved the deficit at the buzzer, but Eden Agero could not firmly hold the ball after Bush Mwale’s offload following a spirited sprint from deep.
Kenya though started the second period on a high, Sammy Oliech using his speed and power to touch down on the left and once again his cheeky hand off pushing away his chaser. Agero converted as Kenya revived their hopes.
However, Perez dotted down his second try of the match after a little intelligent dummy to beat Wanyama with Willy Ambaka’s late effort to pull him down as he raced for the try line being futile. The try was converted for a 21-7 score.
At the buzzer, Samoa decided to play on and they were rewarded for their efforts, Savelio Ropati dotting down on the left after powering past the Kenyans.
Innocent Simiyu’s charges had earlier labored in the quarter finals before beating Scotland 19-17. Frank Wanyama dotted down with 40 seconds to go as Kenya trailed 12-17 and Sammy Oliech added in the extras for Kenya to clinch the narrow win.
The team returns home on Tuesday and they will have plenty of time to regroup before returning to Hong Kong on April 7.