NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 24- Kenya surrendered its Africa Sevens title after suffering a 17-12 loss at the hands of neighbors Uganda in the Main Cup semi-final at the Safaricom Stadium Kasarani on Saturday.
The Ugandans capitalized on mistakes from the Kenyan side to pick up the vital win as the Kenyan side, purely made up of youngsters were left licking their wounds after failing in their quest to defend the title.
“We are disappointed to lose our title, but again, this was expected basing on the fact we only trained for two days before this tournament. It is a challenge to the Union that we need to plan better because really we couldn’t expect magic results,” coach Paul Murunga who was handling the side said after the match.
He added; “We did not lose because Uganda were better on structured play but because we were punished for our own mistakes. These are lessons we learn in the hard way,” Murunga added.
The tactician rued the absence of captain Michael Wanjala who played only two minutes of the match before limping out with injury, having played a vital role in Kenya’s first two matches on Friday.
Philip Wokarach who was man of the match in the Elgon Cup match between Kenya and Uganda in July was again the chief destroyer for Kenya, opening up the Cranes’ account early.
Just like he did in the 15s match, the lanky Ugandan kicked the ball upfield and used his pace to follow up before touching down at the far right.
Govle Ramathan stretched Uganda’s lead to 10-0 after pacing down under the post with Wokarach adding the extras with a successful conversion for a 12-0 lead.
Adrian Kasito then gave Uganda a 17-0 lead at half time after picking the ball deep in Kenya’s half from a quickly started line-out, beating Kenya’s chasing pack for pace.
In the second half, the Morans came back with an ambition of overturning the lead and they were handed just the boost they needed with Alex Olaba touching down under the post after some patient build up from the Kenyans. Matt Wanjia converted as Kenya went to seven points.
Aluda Beda then added a second try for the Kenyans from the right but Wanjia’s effort from the conversion went wide.
Uganda managed to hold on to the 17-12 lead and progress to the final where they will meet Namibia who came from behind to beat Madagascar 10-7.