Kenya to play Fiji in Hong Kong 7s quarters
Kenya will play Fiji in the Main Cup quarters of the seventh HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series round of Hong Kong 7s after squeezing through form Pool A’s group of death on Saturday despite losing 10-17 to France in their last fixture.
New Zealand maintained control of the pool with a 5-0 win against Kenya and 28-10 victory over Samoa. Samoa, Kenya and France all finished up on five points, but due to points difference Kenya advanced into the last eight.
Against the All Blacks, Benjamin Ayimba’s charges resulted to rearguard action to contain New Zealand in the half line managing several attacks but not yielding the much needed result.
D.J Forbes’ try midway through the second half separated the two sides in what can only be described as a fair testament to a tight contest.
Kenya were committed, rushing New Zealand on defence while remaining competitive at the breakdown. The two teams would go into the interval deadlocked.
It would remain tense after the interval until Forbes struck. Kenya would remain in pursuit of the game but were unlucky not to score; more so when Nelson Oyoo took his eye off the ball for a moment, inevitably knocking on with what was probably Kenya’s best chance to score.
Gordon Tietjens side dominated possession for the better part of the second half desperately trying to find the space for a try but the defensive brilliance of Ayimba’s boys denied them yet again.
But it was the decisive run by Forbes after receiving a brilliant off load from Kaka that got the all blacks the much needed try, his 137th career try, to win the tie.
Against the French, Willy Ambaka’s try at the death secured Kenya the points they needed to scrape through ahead of their opponents after they were put on the back foot early when Sacha Valleau touched down with Stephen Parez converting for 7-0 score inside the opening two minutes.
Shujaa then hesitated with the ball and gave away possession after a Samuel Oliech knock on to concede a second try to Virimi Vakatawa for 12-0.
Collins Injera then made a try saving tackle on Valleau, denying the French a third try.
Nelson Oyoo, played in by Injera, cut the deficit for Kenya with an unconverted second half effort to make it 12-5 but the French went on the attack and stretched their advantage with Valez going over for 17-5.
Ambaka then stole the ball from a ruck to score and send Kenya through for a date with Fiji at 6:42am local time (+3GMT).
Seven of the top eight teams in the standings have made it into the Cup quarter-finals after a thrilling second day of action in Hong Kong.
In the other Cup quarter-finals New Zealand play Wales, USA play South Africa and England face Australia.
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