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Lioness fail to secure core status, set for Bowl


Janet Okello hold on a China player in their opener on August 22 during the World Series qualifiers in Dublin, Ireland.

NAIROBI, August 22 – Kenya hopes of earning core status in the prestigious World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series hit a snag after they were relegated to the Bowl in the 2015-16 qualifiers in Dublin, Ireland on Saturday.

The Lioness fell 29-7 to China in their opener then went down 22-7 to Netherlands before wrapping their preliminary match with a 12-7 win over 2016 Olympics bound Colombia to finish third and set up a Bowl semi-final clash against Mexico on Sunday.

Against China who are seeking to maintain their core status, Kenya were on the receiving end with Yuanyuan Lu and Shichao Sun both scoring two tries for the Chinese side.

Kenya then failed to prevail against the Netherlands who had too much pace and power with Johanne Marije van Rossum grounding a hat-trick of tries over Mike Shamiah charges who showed improvement from their first match and scored a great breakaway converted try through Janet Okello.

To the delight of the Kenyan fans who reside in Ireland, their side picked up a first victory in their final match of the day against Colombia with winger Okello again scoring a long-range breakaway try that was converted by Doreen Remour.

KCB RFC center, Philadelphia Olando extended the lead on the restart with a solo effort try after sprinting from the outer left flank.

Although they ended the day without a win, Colombia did cross the line for the first time, through Isabel Romero.

The expected pool decider saw the Netherlands run out 22-10 winners over China, tries from Elke van Meer, Pleuni Kievit and Joyce van Altena again the side coached by former England Sevens legend Ben Gollings.

Group winners Netherlands take on hosts Ireland in the Main Cup quarters while second finishers China square it out with Olympics hosts Brazil.

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The two finalists will join New Zealand, Canada, Australia, England, USA, France, Russia, Fiji and Spain as core teams on the 2015-16 Series.

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