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Shujaa Cup Quarters hopes lie on Russia

Kenya huddle up before kick off on day one of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2016-17 in Las Vegas on 3 March, 2017. Photo: Martin Seras Lima

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 4- The Kenya Sevens team will have to beat Russia convincingly in their final group match early Sunday morning to revive their hopes of making it into the Main Cup quarters after losing to New Zealand and drawing against Argentina in their opening two group games.

After losing 24-7 to World Champions All Blacks in the first match, Shujaa needed to beat Argentina to keep their hopes of a second main cup berth this season alive, but they will now be kept waiting after drawing 14-14.

Kenya’s hopes of making it into the cup quarters will lie on the score-line they will have against Russia who lost 43-0 to the Argentines and also hope the Pumas lose to New Zealand.

A result contrary will see the Kenyans drop to the Challenge Trophy.

Against Argentina, Kenya started on a perfect note with Nelson Oyoo touching down under the posts after some quickly executed play with Eden Agero offloading the ball to Oyoo to touch down. Agero put in the extras as Kenya went 7-0 up.

Argentina however drew level after some slight lapse in concentration in the Kenyan rear, Matias Ocsaduk noticing a gap in the defense to quickly sneak in and touch down before putting in the conversion.

The Pumas went 14-7 up, Ocsaduk again doing the damage with a powered try on the right despite Collins Injera’s attempt at putting him down a few meters to the try line failing.

Kenya should have leveled in the final few seconds of the first half but Andrew Amonde’s lack of pace put off the attempt. The captain picked up the ball deep in Kenya’s half, powered through but when he saw the Argentines had closed down, he tried to offload to Oyoo who knocked the ball on.

In the second half, Shujaa started brighter and Injera dotted down his 240th career try under the posts after some patient build up from Kenya. The winger saw space in the middle and powered through, with none of the Argentine players matching up his pace.

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With 50 seconds to go, Kenya should have grasped the win but Agero fumbled with the ball after being put through by Injera. When the Argentines won possession, they kicked the ball out at the buzzer, choosing to keep the draw rather than keep on with play.

Shujaa plays Russia at 1:52am on Sunday morning and will have to go all out for a win to keep the main cup hopes alive.

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