NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 4 – Kenya picked five points from the Las Vegas leg of the World Sevens Series after losing 24-7 to Spain in the Challenge Trophy semi-finals on Sunday night.
Shujaa sunk to the Challenge Trophy after losing their first two group stage matches, going down 26-10 to the USA and 31-7 to France before winding up the group stages with a 24-19 victory over Argentina.
Dropping to the Challenge Trophy, Paul Murunga’s young guns hit Japan 28-15 in the quarter finals, but their journey could not go past the semis. The five points, Shujaa’s second best performance this season takes the boys to 17 points at 13th spot.
Against Spain, Shujaa had hoped to go all the way and pick the maximum eight points off the Challenge but they couldn’t sustain a swift running and fluid Spain side who won off three tries, two of which were landed by Javier Carrion.
A series of errors in the opening minutes saw Spain take advantage and after some fluid movement, Ignacio Rodriguez dotted down and the extras added by Hernandez.
Even before Shujaa could get their act together, Spain were on try number two, another swiftly executed move seeing Carrion dot the first of his two.
However, Bush Mwale restored some hope for Kenya with a well taken try from the right with a powered run off a Michael Wanjala offload with Daniel Taabu booting home the extras for a 12-7 score at half time.
The Kenyans were determined to claw back and snatch the victory off the Spaniards with assistant coach Kevin Wambua urging them on at half time ‘Let’s turn this around boys.”
But, it was Spain who looked hungrier and scored two more tried, Carrion completing his brace before Pablo Fontes signed off the victory with an outstretched arm off a quickly started setpiece.
The boys will now look to build on from the performance in Vegas heading into next weekend’s Vancouver leg where they have been thrown into a tight group.
Shujaa will square out with Fiji, hosts Canada and Samoa in Pool B.