NAIROBI, Kenya, October 11 – The new-look Kenya 7s side crashed out of the Main Cup competition after losing two Pool B matches and will meet Portugal in the Bowl quarterfinals in day 2 of the Gold Coast Sevens in Australia.
Despite having a good start against debutants American Samoa, registering a resounding 42-0 victory, Paul Treu charges that included seven debutants could not step up in their second match against Wales, going down 24-19 before being walloped by traditional foes and Commonwealth champions South Africa in a 45-0 hiding.
Homeboyz’s Augustine Lugonzo was outstanding on his maiden appearance on the global circuit after topping the scoring charts on 29 points on day one in the only bright spot in the dispiriting Kenyan performance.
Other debutants who notched their maiden tries are KCB’s pair of Jacob Ojee and lock Oliver Mang’eni as well as Homeboyz’s youngster Bush Mwale to send shivers to regular players who were axed from the side in a dispute with Kenya Rugby Union.
There was no hiding the team lacked the experience of the likes of vice-captain and Kenya’s all time record try scorer Collins Injera, fly-half Biko Adema, Dennis Ombachi, Billy Odhiambo, Horace Otieno, Oscar Ouma and Oscar Ayodi who are among the 18 senior players dropped from the side.
Against South Africa, two hat-tricks of tries in each half was all that Blitzbokke needed to send their former coach, Treu to the Bowl as Wales progressed to the Cup quarters after edging out American Samoa 36-0.
Seabalo Senatla grounded the first hat-trick just after six minutes of play after the Kenyan backs gave him space to use his electric pace and touch down twice within a span of a minute before adding the third when he weaved past a poor tackle to give his side a 19-0 lead at the break.
A miss pass five metres from the try-line by experienced Leonard Mugaisi made Shujaa suffer as Werner Kok latched onto a fine offload from skipper Frankie Horne on the ground before Steven Hunt compounded the misery with a second hat-trick after sliding from both flanks to see his side prove too good against Treu who has now only managed one win against his former charges in nine encounters.
In their opener against American Samoa, Kenya touched down six times with all conversions going through, as Ojee, the local series top try scorer opening the scoring from a solo effort before captain Andrew Amonde set Lugonzo for the second to open the floodgates.
Mwale, Fabian Olando, Max Theuri and Mang’eni completed the rout.
Treu maintained his starting line-up of Mang’eni, Mwale, Theuri, Olando, Amonde and Ojee against Wales in an encounter that saw the Pacific Islanders topple Kenya for the 14th time in their 26 meets where Shujaa has managed 12 wins.
Wales bounced back from a 19-12 defeat against South Africa to deny Kenya a Main Cup quarter-final berth despite Shujaa fighting hard, upping their game in the second-half to cancel the Welsh’s 12-0 half-time lead.
Lugonzo single-handedly got Kenya back into the game scoring a brace to send them on a 19-17 lead after Leonard Mugaisi had pulled one back, but the Welsh went wide to score a winner through winger Tom Williams as time expired.