NAIROBI, March 6 – Hosts USA crashed Kenya’s hopes of reaching a second Main Cup semi-final this season after relegating Shujaa to the Plate following their 26-14 victory in Las Vegas 7s at Sam Boyd Stadium on Sunday.
A spirited Shujaa started day two on a high, stunning power house New Zealand 22-0 to top Group A unbeaten on nine points, but the Ayimba charges were overwhelmed by the Americans, who were playing in front of their vocal fans.
USA, under the tutelage of former Kenya 7s tactician Mike Friday took an early 14-0 lead but Kenya showed character to fight back and level the scores at the breather.
Danny Barrett opened the account when he picked a great line and took a pop pass from Garrett Bender to crash over under the posts to ignite the massive crowd on the stands.
Perry Baker showed another side to his game by tracking back and tackling an opponent with USA winning possession at the ruck which enabled them build attack which Baker finished off in the right hand corner as Kenya run out of numbers in defence.
Shujaa bounced back in a deadly fashion with Collins Injera crossing the line to pull one back and take his overall series tally to 218, two short of Ben Gollings, who is second in the all-time list and12 behind record holder and World Rugby sevens columnist, Santiago Gomez Cora of Argentina.
Billy Odhiambo restored parity to silence the partisan crowd as Biko Adema nailed both conversions to bring his side back to the game.
The Americans returned a much improved side that saw them lock down Kenya from the breakdowns and it didn’t took long for Martin Iosefo to cut back against the grain and exploit a gaping hole in the Shujaa defence to convert USA pressure into points.
Zack Test finished the job when he was picked by Barret to spot a gap and sprint to the try-line to give USA some daylight.
It was a sweet avenge for Friday, who lost 26-10 to his former employer when the two sides last met in Cape Town 7s Cup quarter-finals.
Kenya will take on Japan in the Plate semi-final at 10:58pm local time.