Rugby Rugby

Treu disaster in Wellington for Kenya


FIJI-KENYANAIROBI, Kenya, February 7- There will be no repeat of Wellington 7s heroics after the class of 2013/14 fell spectacularly at the first hurdle, crashing out of the Main Cup quarters with a whimper.

The pressure will now be on head coach Paul Treu after Kenya lost their opening game in Pool D to Samoa 24-12 before meekly surrendering to Australia 24-0 to exit the Main Cup at a tournament they lost the big crown on sudden death to England last season.

Their 40-7 victory over whipping boys Tonga turned out to be scant consolation for a time that illuminated New Zealand last season, coming 14-0 down to beat the hosts in the Main Cup semi before they lost 24-19 in sudden death to England in the decider.

The former South Africa coach who retained the same 12 who contested the final of Bowl competition in Las Vegas two weeks ago, will face questions of his ability to reverse the fortunes of the team that was sizzling last season.

It is the second round a row Treu has failed to lead the side to the Cup quarters despite carrying the most experienced squad for the fourth and fifth legs of the current HSBC Series.

Against Samoa, Reupena Levasa touched down in the first minute as Patrick Faapale converted as Kenya found themselves 7-0 down early on.

Oscar Ayodi could levelled for Kenya a minute later but Biko Adema missed the kick before Tulolo Tulolo extended the lead for Samoa with Faapale doing converting to take the scores to 14-5.

Kenyan defence could not hold the Samoan forwards as Kelly Meafua breached the whitewash for a 19-5 deficit at the breather.

Treu attempted to steady his sinking ship by substituting veteran Humpry Kayange and winger Dennis Ombachi but the tide could not be reversed as Reupena Levasa touched down for Samoa with Faapale missing the conversion as Daniel Sikuta scored the late try for Kenya to wrap the scoring.

Fortunes did not change against Australia as Allan Fa’alava’au and Peter Schuster went over in the early exchanges before Con Foley stretched their lead for a 19-0 half time score.

Greg Jeloudev completed the shut-out in the second period as Treu’s charges failed to make any inroads to the Wallabies try line.

Kenya rose to the occasion in their last Group match by thrashing Tonga 40-7, but it was only enough to relegate them once again to the Bowl competition.

Ombachi and Ouma scored tries in the opening minute as Adema converted both before Sikuta extended the lead.

All time leading try scorer Injera got in the act to score his first try in the tournament as Kenya raced to a gaping 36-0 lead at half time against the whipping lads.

Ayodi and Tonny Owuor added further tries after the break after Selu Vailea scored the consolation try that Sosefo Ma’ake converted for hapless Tonga.

-More to follow