Rugby Rugby

Shujaa drop to Challenge Trophy after Boks loss

Oscar Ayodi in action for Kenya against France at the Cape Town Sevens in South Africa on December 9, 2017. PHOTO/World Rugby

NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 9- Kenya dropped to the challenge trophy – and will face Samoa on Sunday morning – after losing their second Group A match, going down 26-7 to series leaders South Africa at the cape Town Sevens on Saturday evening.

Heading into the tie against the Springboks, Kenya needed to win to earn themselves a slot in the Main Cup semis for the second consecutive time after losing their opener against France, but they didn’t have enough to down the leaders and circuit defending champions.

Shujaa started the tournament – the second stop of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series – on a poor footing, going down 21-14 to France, but they managed to bounce back in the second tie with a 31-0 whitewash of Russia.

But with a must win tie against a side that blanked them 48-5 a week ago in Dubai, Kenya couldn’t measure up to the height, the South Africans running in four tries, three of which were converted while Kenya only had one converted try for a consolation.

Playing infront of the home crowd, the motivated Springboks dotted down first through Ruhan Nel who dotted down under the posts, finishing off a flowing move from the hosts. Branco du Preez booted home the conversion, South Africa going 7-0 up.

Shujaa nonetheless drew back level when Ambaka sprinted into the try box from the left after Kenya won the ball straight off the restart, Sammy Oliech offloading for Ambaka. Brian Tanga added in the extras.

Nonetheless, the resilient South Africans regained the lead, going 14-7 up via Kyle Brown’s try converted by du Preez.

Brown sneaked in powering away from his marker after South Africa quickly started out a set piece after Nelson Oyoo had been sent to the sin bin.

They took the comfortable lead into half time.

In the second half, the Boks kept their dominance over Kenya and skipper Philip Snyman dotted down with Cecil Afrika booting home the extras after his side had regained possession from a counter rack.

Seabelo Senatla then put the icing on the cake for the hosts with his 201st career try, sneaking down on the left. The effort from the conversion went wide, but the damage was long done.