NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 28- Kenya picked up a targeted 10 points at the Sydney leg of the World Sevens Series after a 24-5 loss to Fiji in the fifth place semi-final on Sunday, to bring their total points haul after the third round of the season to 23.
Prior to their bumpy travel down to Australia, head coach Innocent Simiyu had underlined that their minimum target was to harvest at least 10 points per leg of the series and in here, they did exactly that, improving from their three point haul in the last leg in Dubai.
Shujaa had dropped to the fifth place play-off after a 17-0 loss at the hands of South Africa in the Main Cup quarters in the wee hours of Sunday morning and they seemed to have gone out of firepower against the Fijians, losing their second match of the day.
Jerry Tuwai broke the deadlock after a tentative start, picking up the ball to score from Brian Tanga’s hurried pop pass to Samuel Ng’ethe. Fiji popped home the extras as they bagged a 7-0 lead.
The pacific nation took a 14-0 lead to the break after Amenoni Nasilasila dotted down and the conversion put between the sticks as Kenya’s backline went to sleep.
In the second half, as they had done in the previous matches, Innocent Simiyu’s charges came back with venom and pressure to cut down from their opening half misadventure, but their efforts were ripped right in the bud with Fiji dotting down a third try.
Alasio Naduva went over the chalk and despite the extras going wide, they still enjoyed a 19-0 lead with less than four minutes left for Shujaa to salvage their pride.
Josua Vakurunabili then put the game to bed, dotting down the firsth try of the game after a quick turnover stretching the scores to 24-0.
A last ditch effort to ensure they never left the game with an empty basket saw Jeff Oluoch cross over as Kenya just but managed five points at the death.
Earlier, Kenya had once again failed to break down the resilience of the South African Blitzboks, going down by three tries in the Main Cup Quarter Finals.
Seabelo Senatla ensured the South Africans took into the break a 10-0 lead with two unconverted tries. Tim Agaba’s converted try in the second half sealed the victory for the South Africans who have been in decent form.
Up next is the Hamilton Sevens in New Zealand on 3rd and 4th February.