NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 2 – Kenya’s hopes of reaching a Main Cup quarter-final was dashed by Australia after going down 17-12 in their last Group D fixture at the opening leg of the 2016/17 HSBC Sevens World Series season in Dubai Rugby 7s on Friday.
The result meant that Kenya was relegated to the Bowl competition where they will face Canada in a fight for eight points that is below head coach Innocent Simiyu’s target of 10 points.
Shujaa only managed to win one match in their preliminary round after bouncing back from a 24-14 defeat at the hands of France to beat Japan 17-7.
Heading to their last match of the Pool, Simiyu made changes to his starting line-up where Brian Tanga made his World Series debut.
Martin Owila also started as Leonard Mugaisi and Frank Wanyama were relegated to the bench.
Entering the clash from a win against Japan, Shujaa needed to beat Australia by a big margin for them to qualify for the cup quarters.
However, things did not go their way as Ed Jenkins sent Australia ahead with his 105th sevens career try.
Kenya were struggling at the breakdown to give an opportunity for 21-year-old Charlie Taylor who punished the Kenyans by running in his first-ever sevens series try.
But right on the stroke of the break William Ambaka touched down his third try of the day to bring Simiyu’s side back in the contest.
The second half turned out to be a battle of power and precision as bit of indecision from Australia and Kenya slowed the game down.
However, Billy ‘The Kid’ Odhiambo had his first score of the weekend but, just at the hooter, Charlie Taylor stole it for Australia to seal the win that ensured they top Group D.