NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 26 – Kenya Sevens will face Tonga in the Challenge Cup quarters in the Hamilton 7s in New Zealand after only managing to win one match in Pool C on Saturday.
Kenya finally found a formula to break through against France, winning 19-15 in their last match of the preliminary stage.
France had beaten Kenya 21-17 at Dubai 7s and 19-12 at Cape Town 7s during the pool stages. The win over France atoned for two previous losses to South Africa and Scotland where the team went down 29-10 and 19-10, respectively.
In the final pool game, skipper Jacob Ojee kicked it off with a second minute 102 meter coast-to-coast mad dash for the opener.
France were to tie it at 5-5 after a leveling unconverted try two minutes from Nisie Huyard. Ojee’s KCB club mate Vincent Onyala topped it up for Shujaa with the second try that Mwamba’s Daniel Taabu converted for a 12-5 half time lead.
Taabu, the 2018 National Seven’s Circuit Most Valuable Player (MVP), added a try that he duly added the extras for Kenya to tidy the score at 19-5.
The French response; two tries by Remi Siega and Jimmy Yobo turned out to be consolations as the game ended 19-15 for Kenya.
It was their first group win in the 2018/19 season having lost all pool games at the opening two legs in Dubai 7s and Cape Town 7s. It was the third win for the restructuring and rebuilding team in 13 games – adding on to their two wins over Zimbabwe (31-19) and Wales (33-26) in Cape Town.
-By Raga House-