NAIROBI, November 28 – The national sevens rugby team will face defending champions New Zealand in the main cup quarter finals of the International Rugby Board (IRB) Dubai Sevens tournament on Saturday morning.
The team qualified for the main knockout stage despite losing to Pool B rivals South Africa 31-0 courtesy of two tries from Robert Ebersohn that helped his team finish top of the group.
Kenya were bereft of any attacking ideas as the Springbok defence held firm and restricted Benjamin Ayimba’s side in their own half.
South Africa’s siege on Kenya’s try line paid off in the first half when Gibson Weru’s was sent to the sin bin for an infringement at the breakdown, compounding Kenya’s predicament with Ebersohn taking advantage of his team’s numerical advantage to score for a 17-0 lead at half time.
The absence of Dennis Mwanja, Allan Onyango and Innocent Simiyu began to tell as Kenya struggled with the Bok’s physicality an issue Ayimba has to address if they are to stand a chance of progressing past New Zealand.
Earlier, Collins Injera scored a spectacular hat trick as Kenya thrashed Scotland 38-0 in what was undoubtedly their most impressive performance in the IRB series.
Lavin Asego touched down twice with Victor Oduor adding the extras as the Scots right from the start wilted in the face of Kenya’s scorching attack.
Kenya spun the ball wide immediately from kick off to Injera who took off from deep inside his own half embarrassing two Scottish defenders on his way to score under the sticks.
The rest of the first half was dominated by Kenya with Asego scoring in the corner after Tusker Safari Sevens champions were awarded a penalty in the Scottish 22.
Oduor went over for his second try of the tournament following another incisive run from from Injera for a 17-0 half time lead.
The second half started like the first with Injera crossing the line again for his 24th try in the IRB series and Scotland committing schoolboy errors with ball in hand.
Weru scored two tries in each half in the victory over Arabian Gulf with Injera, Oduor, crossing the whitewash and Wilson K’Opondo making the most if his recall to the team by setting up both Oduor’s and Weru’s tries.
Jonny Macdonald scored a consolation try for the hosts after substitute Ben Nyambu was sinbinned for an infringement on the Kenya try line.
Meanwhile, Kakamega High School reached the final of the under-19 category of the same tournament.
Despite starting the day with a narrow 12-17 loss to Russian outfit Doverie in their last match, Kakamega High had already done enough especially after winning their third match 26-5 against French side Pyrenees late on Thursday night.
In the match against Doverie, Joash Yongo and Fabian Olando scored one try each with Olando adding one conversion.