NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 26- Despite a last ditch effort from Kenya, Argentina held on to edge out Shujaa 7-5 in their opening game of the third round of HSBC Sevens World Series at Sidney Sevens on Friday morning.
Having come from behind to stretch the Pumas, Shujaa would have stole a late win, but some poor decision making and a bit of handling error saw Kenya fail to get maximum points from the opener.
Erick Ombassa, making his World Rugby Sevens tour debut for Shujaa took on a spirited run from deep his own half with 10 seconds remaining, but bumped into traffic with the try line barely 30m away.
From the rack, his Menengai Oilers mate Samuel Njenga took up the ball, but was forced into an error, Argentina choosing to take the ball to touch with the hooter sounding.
Inspirational Andrew Amonde had stepped off the bench to take Shujaa back into the game in his first tournament of the season, cancelling out Gaston Revol’s first half converted try.
Shujaa won the ball from kick-off but were pressed inside their own half by the South Americans in the opening four minutes of the game. Sammy Oliech won the ball off a penalty and chose to kick out for a line-out as Kenya crossed their half for the first time in the game.
However, in Argentina’s first meaningful attack, Shujaa found themselves 7-0 down.
Conrouda Rouda took on a confident kick and chase down the left channel and was aided when Oliech missed the ball completely despite being ahead of the Argentine.
Roura roared forward but was pegged back by a backtracking Oscar Ouma. However, he managed to create some room for Revol to pick up the ball, bouncing above the try line under the posts. Revol took up responsibility on the extras and made no mistake.
Coming off the break, Kenya sought to command the ball early and they were rewarded when pressure inside the Argentine 22 saw Amonde pick the ball a few metres off the try box, bumped into his marker before landing the ball home.
Eden Agero’s effort from the conversion bounced off the upright.
Kenya would have taken the lead when Jeff Oluoch also took up a kick and chase campaign, but once he chose to protect the ball on the ground for Muregi to pick, the Argentines forced an error to overturn possession.
Kenya will seek to make amends when they face France in their second Group match on Saturday morning.