NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 5- Kenya picked up 10 points from the Las Vegas Sevens after a narrow 26-21 loss to Australia in the fifth place semi-final early Monday morning, taking their points haul after five rounds of the tournament to 45.
This result is a two-point dip from the team’s performance during the previous leg in Hamilton, New Zealand and consequently, head coach innocent Simiyu is now five points off his initial target of 50 points by this time of the season.
James Stannard dotted down Australia’s match winning try in extra time sudden death after a brilliant Willy Ambaka try converted by Eden Agero had brought Shujaa to a 21-21 score at the end of regulation time.
Stannard managed to find some space after the Aussies won a penalty a few meters off the Kenyan try line and he powered himself across the try line to hand his side the priceless win and an assured 12 points.
Stannard had started off the scoring for Australia early on in the game with Kenya responding through Jeff Oluoch and Agero adding in the extras.
John Porch then took Australia back into the lead a minute to half time, Tom Lucas converting for a 14-7 lead. Lachlan Anderson dotted down the Aussies third try of the game just before the break with Lucas converting.
However, Billy Odhiambo made a quick response in the second half to bring the game to a seven point difference and Ambaka who has had a brilliant tournament in Vegas turned the style in superb fashion with two minutes left.
The big and strong Ambaka used his arm strength to push away to challengers before dotting down on the left and Agero ensured the two extra points were booted home with a well executed effort.
With no winner in the regular 14 minutes, the game stretched into an extra five minutes with the winner determined by the first person to dot down and after a turnover, Australia ensured they picked up the win.