NAIROBI, Kenya, March 19 – Humphrey Kayange and Innocent Simiyu scored a brace each as Kenya opened their International Rugby Board (IRB) Adelaide Sevens account with a 27-7 win over Papua New Guinea (PNG) on Friday.The match was tougher than the score line suggests as Benjamin Ayimba’s side had to weather some venomous defence from the islanders at the famous Adelaide Oval.
Benjamin Ayimba’s side started off well with some sleek ball handling from one end of touchline to the other.
Simiyu put Kenya ahead in the third minute with a beautiful flowing move that was made better by the fact he fended off three tacklers for a 5-0 lead.
The Impala centre scored a converted try moments later from a scrum 10 metres from the PNG line.
Gibson Weru picked the ball from the base and then linked up with Gibson Weru who then offloaded to Simiyu who was steaming off his shoulder to make the score 12-0.
A period of sustained pressure from Waisale Serevi’s team put Kenya on the backfoot as half time approached and eventually a try for the rugby minnows.
Kenya were awarded a put in on their five metre line but great pressure from PNG forced the Safaricom sevens champions to lose control of the ball that was pounced on by Montgomery Diave to trail 12-7 at half time.
Kayange put Kenya back in control with try that he conjured up with Simiyu.
The Mwamba ccentre tore down the near touchline and linked up with Simiyu who then returned the favour to his captain to dot down to make the score 17-7.
Ayimba made a raft of changes at this point with Victor Sudi and Dennis Mwanja coming on for Allan Onyango and Simiyu respectively.
Sudi and Mwanja immediately made their presence felt when PNG were awarded a scrum after a knock on by Collins Injera.
PNG buckled under Kenya’s engagement and Gibson Weru picked up the loose ball to dive over to put the match to bed.
Kenya’s next match against Wales on Saturday morning at 8.01 am local time followed by Fiji at 11.36 am.
Wales caused the big upset of the day with a 17-12 win over Fiji.