NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 5- An assured performance from the Kenya Lionesses saw them beat South Africa for the first time in their history, recording a 24-12 victory in their final group match of the Hong Kong Sevens on Thursday to top Group A unbeaten.
Brilliant braces from Janet ‘Shebesh’ Okello and Sinaida Aura gave Kevin Wambua’s girls a morale boosting win against the reigning African Champions, keeping on track their hope of earning World Rugby core status.
Both Kenya and South Africa qualified for Friday’s Main Cup quarter-finals.
Aura broke the deadlock with a sensational try, putting on the afterburners to race away on the left and touch down under the posts after Kenya won back possession deep in their own 22. A little offload from Doreen Remour released Aura who raced away in super speed.
Remour’s effort from the conversion however hit the posts as the Lionesses took a 5-0 lead.
The South Africans responded through Eloise Webb after Kenya conceded three consecutive penalties a few meters off the try box and the South African quickly started one noticing a pocket of space to dot down for a 5-5 score.
The Lionesses however ensured they went to the break noses up with Okello dotting down the first of her two, also in superb fashion. Okello put in some tricky footwork, stepping outside and inside to mix up the South Africans before racing down under the posts.
Remour added in the extras for a 12-5 half time lead.
After the break, Wambua’s girls stamped their authority in the game, Aura dotting down once again with some unmatched pace on the right after Kenya had turned over possession and quickly played the ball wide. Janet Awino’s conversion was good, Lionesses leading 19-5.
Shebesh put the game beyond the African rivals with some good show of footwork once again, dotting down under the posts. Despite Awino’s conversion going wide, Kenya led 24-5 with under a minute left on the clock.
Veroeshka Grain dotted down a late consolation for South Africa after beating the Kenyan backline for pace racing in to bump down a kick from Webb.