NAIROBI, Kenya, March 25- Kenya opened their Hong Kong Sevens campaign in the worst possible start when they were beaten 22-5 by Russia in Pool D.
Rampant Russia rained in three first half tries before opening the second period with a converted fourth as Kenya’s defense capitulated.
Sydney Ashioya salvaged some pride with what turned out to be a consolation try two minutes to the final hooter.
Benjamin Ayimba’s side looked cagey from the start, losing the ball cheaply in the opening exchanges and with two minutes gone, Igor Galinovskiy capitalised to give Russia the opening try of the match but Alexander Yanyuskin missed the subsequent conversion.
Less than a minute and a half later, Kenya’s porous defense was penetrated by Victor Ostroushko who rounded Gibson Weru for the second try with Yanyuskin once again missing the conversion.
Nikolay Zaporzhin went over for his team’s third as Yanyuskin completed his hat-trick of conversion misses a minute to the breather. Kenya started the second period as they ended the first as another loose ball invited Yanyuskin to score and convert his team’s fourth try.
Ayimba brought on Ashioya and Benedict Nyambu to stem the rot after Yanyuskin went down and while it helped to prevent the Russians from extending the lead, it was too late to reverse the result.
Kenya’s next game is against Malaysia later Friday with a date against pool favourites Fiji to come Saturday.