Friday’s USA crush Kenya 7s Cup semi final dream
Kenya 7s went from the high of beating New Zealand for the first time in three years to the low of crashing out of the Cup at the hands of the jubilant USA on another day of thrills and spills in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Benjamin Ayimba’s boys fell 14-26 early Sunday to the hosts as former coach; Mike Friday masterminded yet another victory over Shujaa at the Sam Boyd Stadium.
USA remain on course to become the third side to win a home tournament but they may have to do it without Danny Barrett after the barnstorming forward injures his left shoulder making another big hit late on against Kenya.
Barrett picked up a great line and took a pop pass from Garrett Bender to crash over under the posts, nearly flattening the referee in the process to open the scoring for USA with a converted try.
Then Perry Baker showed another side to his game by tracking back and tackling an opponent as USA won possession at the ruck and built another attack which he finished off in the right hand corner as Kenya run out of numbers in defence.
Again the conversion was good with Friday’s side on fire to get the crowd up on its feet.
But Shujaa rallied to bounce back in deadly fashion to level at 14-14 when record try scorer, Collins Injera and Billy Odhiambo crossed for tries to silence the partisan crowd. Biko Adema nailed both conversions at the start of the second half to set a grand stand finish.
However, their hopes of another upset were dashed when ‘Flying Hawaiian’, Martin Losefo, cut back against the grain and exploited a gaping hole in the Kenyan defence to convert USA pressure into points.
The five were turned into seven with the conversion as Friday played his trump card to bring on Carlin Isles before another hole in the Kenyan rearguard was ruthlessly punished by Zack Test who saw the gap and went blind to give USA daylight for the final 14-26 score.
Danny Barrett launched the attack at the breakdown to set up Test.
USA face Fiji in later Sunday’s semi-finals where two former England coaches, Friday and Ben Ryan, will be pitting their wits against each other once again.
Fiji booked their place in the last four with a routine win against Japan, while two tries from the prolific Seabelo Senatla ended New Zealand’s hopes of a tournament hat-trick following their wins in Wellington and Sydney.
Three-time USA Sevens champions South Africa come up against an Australian side that appears to be getting better by the tournament in the second semi-final.
Report sourced from World Rugby
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