Kenya 7s Finish Seventh in Hamilton Despite Stinging South Africa

26 January 2020

Kenya Sevens blew up their 17-7 lead losing to Argentina 19-17 to finish eighth at Hamilton Sevens on Sunday.

The team will now get 10 points from the seventh place play-off heading into the next leg of the World Rugby Sevens Series in Sydney, Australia next weekend.

Their exploits in New Zealand brings their tally to 35 points.

Kenya failed to handle the kick-off ball to let Felipe de Mestre to score as Redrigo Isgro added the extras to lead 7-0.

However, Paul Feeney's charges regrouped to land three successive tries through Nelson Oyoo, Collins Injera and William "Lomu" Ambaka after tearing the Pumas defence apart. Johnstone Olindi made one conversion with two other misses proving costly as Kenya led 17-7 at the drinks.

Then the Pumas came back strongly casing on Kenya's slippery defence as De Mestre sealed his double to inch closer 17-12 before Franco Sabato landed what ended up to be the deciding try. De Mestre added the vital extra to win the duel and finish seventh in Hamilton.

Kenya had at dawn stunned Dubai Sevens champions South Africa 36-12 in their last Pool "B" match, a day after they lost to England 24-19 and drew 12-12 with Japan.

The draw also proved costly as Kenya finished second in the pool with six points with England topping with nine points after they went on to down South Africa and Japan 21-19 and 26-7 respectively.

It was a thriller as Kenya landed four tries in quick succession through Ambaka, debutant Geoffrey Okatch, Injera and Jeffrey Oluoch. Olindi made two conversions for a 19-0 lead.

Then Branco du Plessis converted Muller du Plessis' try as the Blitzebokke trailed 19-7 at the break.

Zain Davids brought back South Africa into the match with a try that Branco converted to inch close 19-14 but Alvin "Buffalo" Otieno and Vincent Onyala put Kenya beyond reach with a try each.

Daniel Taabu made one conversion as Kenya got to beat South Africa for the first time in two years.

It was a see-saw as Kenya twice blew away their lead to settle for level pegging against Japan. Otieno gave Kenya the lead 5-0 only for Kippel Ishida to level at 5-5 after both teams failed to convert.

Taabu would convert his own try in the second half to give Kenya the lead 12-5 only for Dai Ozawa to cancel to try as Yoshikazu Fujita converted to deny Kenya victory.

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