NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 2 – Kenya’s struggles at the World Rugby Sevens series this season continued as they picked a paltry three points from the Los Angeles leg early Monday morning after finishing in 14th place.
Paul Feeney’s men will now hope for an improved performance when they head out to the sixth stop of the series in Vancouver this coming weekend where they have been pooled with New Zealand, Ireland and Spain in Pool C.
In LA, Shujaa won only two matches, one group tie against Ireland and the 13th place play-off semi against Wales. They went on to the final to lose to Scotland in Sudden death after staging a comeback at halftime, but came short at the death.
Alec Coombes scored in sudden death to hand the Scots the 13th place trophy and three points of the series while Shujaa had to contend with just two, not much improvement from the Sydney 7s where they picked up a single point.
Robbie Fergusson had come off the sinbin to score two quick tries to give the Scots the lead, though Kenya reduced the deficit through Willy Ambaka’s powered run from deep in his own half after pushing aside his tracker with a massive right hand.
But, the Scots went to the break with a 17-5 lead after Coombes scored the first of his two in the match.
Nonetheless, Shujaa came back stronger after the break with Billy Odhiambo, and Sammy Oliech dotting down to tie the scores at 17-17.
Skipper Andrew Amonde then went over the whitewash with Oliech converting as the Kenyans took the lead for the first time in the game.
However, Shujaa’s ailment this season, lack of concentration deep in games, came back to haunt them, Max MacFarland scoring with the last play to tie the game at 24-24.
Into sudden death, it was the Scots who would swing in with the momentum, Coombes going over to hand them the win.
Shujaa were out of sorts and looked rusty in Los Angeles. They started off their campaign with a 31-5 loss to eventual champions South Africa before recovering with a 29-12 win over Ireland in their second pool match.
However, hopes of qualifying to the Main Cup quarters were quashed when they suffered a 24-0 thrashing at the hands of Canada to finish third in the pool.
They went in to the ninth place play-off where their luck continued to dip, losing the quarter final tie 28-19 to Samoa, a defeat that saw them sink further into the 13th place play-off.
They won 29-5 against Wales, but couldn’t keep the momentum to the final.
Shujaa remain 11th in the standings with 29 points, 11 away from 10th placed Canada.