NAIROBI, April 8 – Veteran Humphrey Kayange grounded twice as the national sevens team launched its Hong Kong Sevens campaign on a positive note following their 24-0 mauling over Samoa in the seventh round of the HSBC Sevens World Series that got underway Friday.
It was a sweet revenge for Kenya who produced a brilliant display after Samoa had beaten Shujaa 26-19 at the last leg in Vancouver, Canada.
Head coach Benjamin Ayimba started with his experienced squad that accommodated upcoming Sammy Oliech while returnees Robert Aringo and Frank Wanyama started on the bench as well as debutant Alvin Otieno.
Nelson Oyoo, who was making a comeback to the Series after impressing in Dubai and Cape Town, touched down the first try of the tournament when he received Oscar Ayodi’s off load to make a step and miss a tackle to score on the far left corner.
Collins Injera had a chance to give his side a second try in quick succession but some good defence from Samoa Toloa ensured the Shujaa vice captain remain eight tries shy of Santiago Gomez Cora’s all-time try scoring record of 230 on the series.
Kenya’s dominance continued as they pinned down Samoa on their own half to see Injera set up Willy Ambaka, who did well to hand off Alefosio Tapili before powering all the way to the whitewash for Shujaa’s second try.
Injera was at it again, this time feeding his elder brother Kayange who went over on the stroke of half-time to hand the Ayimba side a commanding 17-0 lead.
On resumption, Kenya put the squeeze on Samoa and were rewarded with a gift of a try for Kayange, who was lurking to pick off a loose pass and run in his second score of the day.
The Samoans failed to get into the game and it took them until the dying seconds to make it into Kenya’s 22, but some more good defence meant they were shut out on the scoreboard.
Kenya face power house New Zealand in their second match of Pool A on Saturday at 6:40am local time, a match that will see them through to the Main Cup quarter-finals with a match to spare.
Meanwhile, the Kenya Lioness lifted the Bowl competition in the Hong Kong Women’s invitational tournament after hammering Sri Lanka 29-0.
The team led by head coach Mike Shamiah signaled their intent from kick off with Janet Akello going over after sustaining pressure.
The nippy Sri Lankans threatened with their pace but Akello’s desperate tackle spared Kenyan blushes.
Celestine Masinde received the ball on the burst to hand Kenya the second try before Akello grabbed her brace after the restart to see Kenya lead 17-0 at the breather.
The game then lulled into a sedate affair until KCB’s Philadephia Olando played in Masinde, who rounded a Sri Lanka defender to score outside the posts for Doreen Remour to convert.