NAIROBI, April 5 – It was a poor outing for the national Sevens team at the Seventh leg of the HSBC Sevens World Series after bowing out at the Shield semi-final courtesy of a 17-12 loss to Argentina in Tokyo, Japan on Sunday.
The outcome saw Shujaa collect a single point and drop to 13th on 33 points as the series enters its home stretch next month in the Europe legs (Scotland and England).
Kenya who left the competition with a single win in five, were relegated to the Shield competition by Australia who beat them 14-5 in the Bowl quarter-final.
Felix Ochieng charges played with wristbands written #NOMORE147 in solidarity with family and friends who lost their loved ones in Thursday’s Garisa University College terror attack that left 147 dead.
Day two saw Kenya miss dependable players in vice captain and the country’s record try scorer, Collins Injera as well as fly half Lavin Asego due to injuries picked in their group C fixtures.
Against the Pumas, Shujaa who were looking for Hong Kong repeat where they lifted the consolation Shield, started on the low that saw skipper Andrew Amonde sent to the sin-bin seconds after kick-off for a neck tackle on Santiago Alvarez.
Argentina failed to capitalize on Amonde’s two minutes absence, but with a minute to go in the first period, Segundo Tuculet kicked the ball through before dropping on the ball to score.
Tuculet was at it again right on the hooter for his second from a brilliant build up to turn over at the left flag.
He then grabbed his hat-trick on resumption, when he stepped off his left foot, palmed off Dan Sikuta and slip through under the posts.
Humphrey Kayange brought Shujaa back in the game when he picked up from the maul to go over the sticks for his 146th career try minutes before Billy Odhiambo intercepted a pass to race away and score in the dying minutes as the referee Mike Adamson from Scotland brew the final whistle to send the Pumas to the Shield final.
-Relegation to Shield-
In the Bowl quarters, the Wallabies took control of the proceedings, touching down twice in the first period through Nick Malouf and Greg Jeloudev converted tries.
Odhiambo got Kenya back into the game after pulling one but missed conversion as Australia held on to relegate Shujaa to the lowest competition in the series.
The Series heads to it penultimate stage on the weekend of May 9 and 10 in Scotland’s Glasgow 7s before curtain falling down a week later in England’s London 7s where the top four teams will earn direct qualification to 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.