NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 16 – After failing to defend their Singapore Sevens title, Kenya will shift their attention to the penultimate stage of the World Rugby Sevens Series in Paris, France in slightly under a month’s time.
Shujaa have been pooled against England who narrowly beat them 13-12 in the quarter finals of the Main Cup in Singapore as well as Spain and the hosts in Pool C.
Shujaa finished eighth in Singapore, having lost narrowly 24-21 to New Zealand in the 5th place play-off semi-final courtesy of a last gasp try from the All Blacks. The result means Kenya pick 10 points and remain 11th on the standings with 57 points.
After the disappointment of losing against England in the Main Cup quarters courtesy of basic errors and poor officiating which invited hue and cry from fans as well as Rugby great David Campese, Shujaa hoped for a better result against New Zealand.
The Kenyans started well going into a 7-0 lead inside the opening minute with Brian Tanga dotting down under the posts and Eden Agero converted.
Derek Mayar, playing in his first sevens tournament then added on to the try basket with Agero adding in the extras, Shujaa showing their mettle to go 14-0 up.
However, the New Zealanders quickly pulled in two quick tries before half time, to reduce the deficit to just two points. Trael Joass and Lewis Ormond touched down with Beaudein Waaka converting one of them.
The All Blacks snatched the lead for the first time in the match at the second half with Waaka scoring an unconverted try to take the scores to 17-14. But Kenya fought back, Dennis Ombachi touching down and Augustine Lugonzo converting turning the scores 21-17 in favor for Kenya.
But Innocent Simiyu’s boys could not hold on to the slim lead and just like it happened against England, they let off the advantage after the buzzer. Ormond’s converted try took New Zealand 24-21 up.
Meanwhile, Canada, just like Kenya did a year ago made history by winning their first ever Main Cup trophy after beating Mike Friday’s USA 26-19 in an entertaining final.