NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 2 – Manoel Dall’igna dotted down a sudden death try as France broke Kenya’s hearts, hitting Shujaa 26-21 to progress to the fifth-place final at the last stop of the World Sevens series in Paris on Sunday.
The home side had raced from 21-14 down to score a converted try at the death and force the game to sudden death where France picked a line out from kick off and found some space to dot down.
Despite the loss, Shujaa leaves France with their heads held high having picked up 10 points that take their season tally to 37 and assure themselves of avoiding relegation and finishing above Wales and Japan with the latter suffering the chop.
Paul Murunga’s men had already assured themselves of safety on Saturday after progressing to their first Cup quarter this season while both Wales and Japan dropped to the challenge, meaning they would pick more points that their fellow strugglers.
Wales picked a point from Paris after losing to Japan in the 13th place semi-final and move their final tally to 31, six behind Kenya while Japan who will play the 13th place final can only pick a maximum of three points if they win to take their overall tally to 26.
Kenya were far more confidence and went into their second match of the afternoon a buzzed up-side despite losing the Cup quarter to the USA earlier on in the day.
Nelson Oyoo dotted down his fifth try in Paris to break the deadlock after running down 70m to touch down under the posts after sliding through two Frenchmen. Michael Wanjala booted home the twos for a 7-0 lead.
However, France struck back through Marvoin O’Connor who raced down the right after some good work from Stephen Parez who greased through tackles before making the simple offload. Fly half Jean Pascal Barraque booted home the extras to tie the scores.
Kenya went to the break 14-7 up through Oyoo who ran down the middle again after a little offload from Johnstone Olindi blindsided the French. Wanjala stepped up for the twos and slit the posts.
After the break, Kenya remained on the front foot and Cyprian Kuto went over, capping his try with a little dance infront of the Kenyan fans after a line break from Bush Mwale accorded Kenya some good space.
France however went within seven point after Dall’igna scored his second of the afternoon after France won possession and went for the line out where they found space to hurt Kenya.
With Kenya at 21-14 up now and just over a minute left, they had to only ensure France are denied possession. But, charged by a capacity home crowd, France kept knocking and dotted down after Jonathan Laugel went across the line and Barraque converted to tie the scores.
In sudden death. France won possession from the restart, went for the line out and hurt Kenya again.