Kenya play Samoa in Challenge Trophy final

By the punter
Mar 06, 2017
  • Collins Injera feeds the ball in the scrum against France. Kenya won 14-7 to set a date with Samoa in the Challenge Trophy final. (Photo by David Kiania)

Kenya edged out France 14-7 to book a date with Samoa in the Challenge Trophy final of the USA Sevens.

Samoa qualified for the final after beating Scotland 24-0 in the other semifinal. At stake is eight points in the World Rugby Sevens World Series.

In this match, France kicked off and the ball drifted to touch deep inside Kenya’s half. From the line out, Oscar Ayodi who was playing for the first time in the circuit broke through but lost possession.

Alexandre Lagarde scored a try from a quickly-taken penalty inside Kenya’s 22. Terry Bouhraoua converted for a 7-0 lead.

From the restart, Ayodi made an incisive run but was tackled five meters short. From intense pressure, France knocked the ball in their try area.

At the scrumdown, Injera passed the ball to Ayodi who knocked on with the try line beckoning. France made a clearance kick which sent back Kenya deep in their own half.

With the buzzer gone, Ambaka made a darting run but was stopped by Bouhraoua. The sustained pressure saw Bush Mwale run under the posts. Augustine Lugonzo converted for a 7-7 score at halftime.

The second half was slow with teams worried about making mistakes. Billy Odhiambo tested the French backs but was penalised for holding the ball on the ground. France opted for touch.

When Lagarde was sent off in the fourth minute, Collins Injera scored from a Sam Oliech pass. Oliech converted to break the deadlock.

A surge of energy saw Kenya defend furiously and Injera denied them a try by holding the ball carrier off the ground on the try line.

Day three results

Cup semifinals: South Africa 20 USA 17, Fiji v New Zealand

5th/6th place semifinals: Australia 14 Argentina 0, Canada 5 England 14

Challenge Trophy Semifinals: France 7 Kenya 14, Scotland 0 Samoa 24; Final: Kenya v Samoa

13th/14th place semifinals: Japan 24 Chile 7, Wales 24 Russia 5; Final: Japan v Wales

15th/16th: Chile/Russia.