NAIROBI, Kenya, May 15 – There will be no repeat of Singapore glory by the Kenya 7s team after falling 24-5 at the hands of host France in the Main Cup quarter-final to be relegated to the Plate competition at the ninth round of the 2015-16 HSBC Sevens World Series in Paris on Sunday.
Shujaa, who face Australia in the Plate semi-final, will now fight for 13 points as they seek to win the Plate to add on their 85 points in the overall standing ahead of the final leg in London next weekend.
Against France, Kenya only managed to score one unconverted try through Billy ‘The Kid’ Odhiambo while the hosts touched down four times to proceed to the Cup semi-finals.
The Parisian crowd went wild as Terry Bouhraoua combined well with Virimi Vakatawa to break the deadlock just a minute after kick-off.
France had another chance to double the scores after Bouhraoua and Vakatawa once again threatened the Kenyan line but this time the Singapore 7s champions were able to bundle the Fijian-born winger into touch.
Kenya were back in the game, reducing the deficit to two points after vice captain Collins Injera beat Vakatawa and then freed his arms to get the pass away to Odhiambo who did the rest to send the large Kenyan contingent in the Stade Jean Bouin crowd into raptures.
However, Samuel Oliech was unable to land the conversion from wide out to hand the Les Bleus a two-point lead approaching the break.
Returning for the second half, France continued where they left, after a superb counter-rucking from one side and then the other eventually saw the ball come back on France’s side but Pierre Gillies Lakafia was hauled down five metres short towards the line.
Lakafia still managed to get the ball away to Terry Bouhraoua who spilled a difficult pass with the line at his mercy.
Bouhraoua, however, atoned for the error when his quick-thinking opened up a gap that Manoel Dall Igna exploited.
Further salt was rubbed into Kenya’s wounds when Vakatawa, who is having a superb game, broke away to score in the corner for the final 24-5 scoreline.