NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 29 – Kenya kicked-off its Los Angeles Sevens campaign on a sour note, going down 31-5 to South Africa in their Pool B opener in the fifth leg of the HSBC Sevens World Series on Saturday.
Head coach Paul Feeney starting a strong squad that comprised of returnees Oscar Ouma and Sammy Oliech who joined their peers Collins Injera, Jacob Ojee, Willie Ambaka and skipper Andrew Amonde.
However, the compact squad did not rise to the occasion as expected with South Africa dominating the first half to lead 12-5.
Despite Kenya starting off the duel, South Africa took charge of the opening four minutes and eventually breaking the deadlock through Angelo Davids after Shujaa lost the ball from the ruck. Though the Blitzbokke missed the extra two points after the conversion went out.
The Feeney charges found themselves on the receiving end once more, this time after Oliech was dispossessed to see JC Pretorious go over the whitewash with a converted try that stretched the lead to 12 points. This is after a fantastic display that saw the South Africans kick and chase that saw the ball ping pong infront of Ambaka and Ojee.
Kenya were handed advantage after Werner Kok was sent to the sin bin and Shujaa maximized of the opportunity of having one man more to reduce the deficit thanks to Ambaka’s try who was laid over by Ouma.
Returning for the last half, South Africa stepped up their game, especially after being boosted by the return of Kok into the field.
Kok immediately made the amends with a fine converted try after Kenya lost the back from the ruck to take scores at 19-5
Duplessis Muller added the fourth try after the South Africans produced magnificent skills, spraying their wide accurate passes before Dupreez Branco sealed the win to see South Africa stretch their dominance over Kenya, winning three against Kenya’s one in the four meetings they have come across each other this season.
Kenya will next face Ireland in a must win match to revive their chances of reaching thr Cup quarters.