NAIROBI, Kenya, June 30- Willie Ambaka’s sudden death try saw Kenya reach a second successive RWC Sevens semi final as they edged France 24-19 in a tense quarter final at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on Sunday.
France opened the scores through Jean Bapitse Gobelet’s unconverted try after a period of sustained dominance, bossing the break down and retaining possession.
Kenya responded through Collins Injera with Biko Adema’s conversion seeing the side 7-5 up but Manuel Dall Igna’s try and Terry Terry Bouhraoua’s conversion saw the French lead 12-7 at the interval.
Humphrey Kayange scored a try for Kenya after the restart, Adema converting for a 14-12 lead and what transpired next was a moment of anxiety for players and fans alike, both sides looking to win this game.
A second Kayange try put Kenya 19-12 up but the French equalized after sustained pressure,Bouhraoua converting Paul Albaladejo’s try to send the game to extra time.
Kenya saw more of the ball in extra time and it took the experience and vision of Lavin Asego, who came in for Adema midway through the second half to create space for Ambaka who lurched on to the ball at full pace, beating his French defenders to score under the posts and send Kenya into the semi final against England at 4.02pm.
Meanwhile, play in the Rugby World Cup Sevens tournament was suspended on Sunday after a massive thunder storm over the Luzhniki Stadium.
New Zealand were leading Fiji 12-0 in the Cup semi-final when claps of thunder echoed around the stadium and bolts of lightning lit up a darkened sky.
Torrential rain followed, and South African referee Marius van der Westhuizen was left with no option other than to usher the two teams back into the changing rooms.
“The thunder storm around Luzhniki Stadium has temporarily halted this Cup semi-final in the men’s tournament with New Zealand leading Fiji 12-0,” the IRB said.
The winners of the All Blacks-Fiji clash will play the victors of the second semi-final to be contested by England and Kenya.
– Kenya Rugby Union and AFP