NAIROBI, Kenya, February 15- Kenya sevens dream of making the Las Vegas 7s Main Cup quarters was dashed by former colonial masters England in a single converted try loss in their last Pool B crash in the first hour of Sunday.
Shujaa who have shown marked improvement in the last two legs of the HSBC World Series once again could not beat the team that denied them a first Main Cup win two seasons ago in the Wellington 7s final after England ran out 21-14 victors.
Rapidly improving Canada joined them from the difficult group by thumping Argentina 24-7 in the other match as all four teams went to the last Pool B exchanges level on 4 points apiece after winning one and losing another of their encounters.
Kenya dropped to face Portugal in the Bowl quarters after yet another spirited comeback from a yawning deficit in Las Vegas fell just short as time ran out.
“There are no easy wins. We are glad we got to this stage and we’ll see where we go from here. The boys are hungry for the quarter-finals and that’s our focus now,” England captain Tom Mitchell said after the bruising win over a Kenyan side that once again to get the better of them when it mattered.
Oscar Ayodi served notice of Kenya’s danger with a defence-breaching try down the middle to leave England who scored two converted unanswered tries for a 14-0 advantage at the break still with work to do after Richard de Carpentier grounded the first after three minutes before Thomas Bowen went over for a quick second with the skipper successful from the kick twice.
In response, the winners broke tellingly as Charlie Hayter finished off a quick-passing move for 21-7.
Kenya still had two scores behind and England are doing just enough as Mitchell once agai converted but Felix ‘Toti’ Ochieng’s boys refused to go out with a whimper when Tony Opondo went over from a splendid move out wide with the boot of Lavin Asego true for both Shujaa’s tries.
The Main Cup quarters line-ups were decided thus; Fiji v France, SA v England, Australia v New Zealand and Canada v USA.
Earlier, Kenya who came from their best points harvest of a hugely underwhelming season of 10 points in New Zealand after their run ended at the Plate semis when they made a first Main Cup quarters showing, ignited hopes they would feature in the last eight when they pick-pocketed a last-gasp win over Canada 22-21 in the opener before going down 14-19 to Argentina.
Canada bounced back to shock England 12-15 to throw the group wide open after Argentina lost 17-19 to England.