NAIROBI, April 10 – The Kenya 7s team collected 10 points at the seventh round of the HSBC Sevens World Series in Hong Kong after succumbing 33-0 to England in the Plate semi-finals on Sunday.
The result saw Shujaa stagnate eighth in the standings on 63 points ahead of the inaugural Singapore Sevens next weekend.
Despite winning only the opening match in their 24-0 mauling over Samoa, the Benjamin Ayimba side improved defensively to lose narrowly 5-0 against titans New Zealand, 17-10 to France in the preliminary round and 12-10 to Hong Kong Sevens defending champions Fiji in the Main Cup quarter-finals.
Against England, Kenya failed to match their opponent’s performance to bow out without grounding a single try.
Richard de Carpentier broke the deadlock when he took a pop pass from Phil Burgess to score under the posts as England made an encouraging start in the second Plate semi-final against the massively physical Kenyans.
Dan Norton became only the second Englishman to score a double century of tries on the World Series when he dribbled the ball over the line at the end of the first half.
Burgess capped a good display with England’s third try before captain Tom Mitchell confirmed the win when he gathered his own chip over the top to score in front of the South Stand.
A great interplay led to Ollie Lindsay-Hague supplying further gloss to the victory with seconds remaining to bundle out Kenya.
-Fiji narrow win-
In the Main Cup quarter-finals, Shujaa showed a brave fight in search of its second Cup semi of the season but fell short 12-10 at the hands of Fiji to drop to the Plate competition.
Kenya were mean at the back to deny a strong Fiji side, who spent the first four minutes in Kenya’s half but were unable to find a way through.
Fiji suffered an injury blow as Vatemo Ravouvou limped off with what looked like a bad knee knock, but that did not stop them from attacking with Kitione Taliga fending off Samuel Oliech and looked certain to score the first points of the first half but dropped the ball in the act of diving for the line while under pressure from Humphrey Kayange.
With the heavens opening, Fiji returned in the second half on a high and they were able to penetrate the Kenyan back-line when Jerry Tuwai burst through two defenders before finding Kitione Taliga with an out-the-back offload who made no mistake to send Fiji ahead.
Shujaa responded immediately as they went from defence to attack to take the lead through vice captain Collins Injera, who scored his first try of the weekend after collecting his own chip kick ahead. The conversion was good to give Kenya a two point lead with two minutes to go.
Destiny looked to go Kenya’s way when Injera extended the lead from a penalty kick, but Savenaca Rawaca powered down the left flank to touch down and level the scores just on the hooter before captain Osea Kolinisau nailed the conversion to send Fiji through to the Plate final.
Reigning world series champions Fiji fired a clear Olympic warning as they blitzed rivals New Zealand 21-7 to retain the Hong Kong Sevens in convincing fashion.
South Africa edged out Australia 14-12 to claim third place while England lifted Plate after a 19-0 victory over USA.
Argentina won Bowl following their 26-0 triumph over Scotland while Russia beat Canada 19-14 to claim Shield.