Rugby Rugby

Kenya crash out of Dubai Cup quarters

Australia 7s Allan Fa'alava'au in action against Kenya. PHOTO/World Rugby
Australia 7s Allan Fa’alava’au in action against Kenya. PHOTO/World Rugby

NAIROBI, December 4- Kenya Sevens crashed out of the Main Cup quarters after losing to established powerhouses, Australia and England in Pool D.

Shujaa opened their account on a dispiriting note after letting a 12-0 lead slip to succumb 14-12 to Australia in the opener before going down 19-12 to England in their next encounter to end their interest in the Main Cup last four.

The boot of James Stannard proved the difference after he converted a Pama Fou try that brought the Aussies level in the second half after Benjamin Ayimba’s side made a promising start.

Kenya edged the first period 7-0 with Augustine Lugonzo crossing over the whitewash and Biko Adema kicking over the conversion.

Ayimba’s boys went further ahead when Frank Wanyama who had just come on went down at the far corner with Adema missing the conversion for 12-0 when Australia were a man down after Wallabies winger Henry Speight was sent to the sin bin.

Tim Walsh’s team rescued the game when Canberra Royals player, Tom Cusack muscled his way past the Kenyan defence to force the try with Stannard scoring the convertion and barely a minute later, the game slipped away from Kenya when Pau went over.

“Disappointing end to that game boys but great start to the tournament, we pick it up in the second one,” former captain, Humphrey Kayange, wrote on Twitter after the loss.

“Down but not out… #kenya7s,” another former Kenya Sevens skipper, Sydney Ashioya wrote ahead of their second clash against England.

The teams traded tries in the first half to go to the break 5-5 with Dan Norton grounding the first that took a video referee call to make it stand when he first appeared to have stepped out of line.

Shujaa rallied and record try scorer and captain of the tour, Collins Injera breaking to bring Kenya level with Dan Bibby and Adema missing the conversions for their respective teams.

A minute after the restart, it was 12-5 in favour of England when Ruaridh McConnochie went over and Bibby converted before Ayimba threw on Bush Mwale and Leonard Mugaisi to fashion a response from the bench.

However, after managing to defend stoically, Tim Bowen breached Shujaa’s defence for England’s third try with Tom Mitchell taking responsibility with the boot for 19-5.

There was still time for World Sevens Series debutant, Nelson Oyoo who came off the bench to make a resounding announcement of his talents when he superbly sprinted on the edge of the right to score a breathtaking solo try for Kenya at the hooter

Adema converted from a difficult angle to add respectability to the score line as the game ended 19-12 for England’s second victory.