Kenya set up tough Trophy Challenge date with Japan

By the punter
Apr 08, 2017
  • Nelson Oyoo scored a try against South Africa. Kenya face Japan in the Trophy Challenge quarterfinals on Sunday. (Photo Courtesy)

Kenya rued their narrow 14-17 loss to Canada in the opening match as they beat France 29-12 to set a date with Japan in the quarterfinals of the Hong Kong Sevens on Saturday.

Winning against a solid French side which narrowly lost to South Africa in their opening match summarized the feelings of Andrew Amonde, the captain who rued the chances they created against Canada.

Amonde recalled the missed scoring opportunities after Kenya came from twice down to level the scores 14-14.

In the match against France, Frank Wanyama who has been used sparingly in the opening two matches landed the first try after two minutes of a patient build up. Sam Oliech converted for a 7-0 lead.

Dennis Ombachi who has justified his comeback to the team added the second to stretch the lead 12-0.

This was the third try in Hong Kong for the utility player who was moved to the forwards following the unavailability of William Ambaka and Dan Sikuta.

France were on the prowl and responded with a try by Jean Pascal Barraque in the fifth minute. Stephen Perez missed the conversion.

An early change saw Jeremy Alcardi join the action in the sixth minute but one minute later Wanyama crossed the white chalk for an unconverted try as Kenya led 17-5 at halftime.

Changes worked

Bush Mwale was introduced at the start of the second half by coach Innocent Simiyu while France brought on Pierre Popelin.

The changes worked to Kenya’s advantage with Eden Agero scoring and converting his own try in the 10th minute to extend the lead to a seemingly comfortable 24-5 lead.

Brian Tanga stepped on the pitch in the 10th minute and Barraque returned with Jean Baptiste Mazoue.

Simiyu responded by bringing on Derrick Mayar and Billy Odhiambo in the 12th minute.

Jonathan Laugel scored a try and Perez converted with the clock in the red when Simiyu introduced Augustine Lugonzo.

At death, Billy Odhiambo landed his first try in Hong Kong. Tanga missed the conversion for Kenya’s first win after two days of action.

Debutant, Mayar was delighted after he came on as a substitute in this game. “I am very thankful and happy and proud. I haven’t even fulfilled my expectations yet, I look forward to leaving the tournament with a try. I look forward to featuring in this team consistently and for the long haul..expect more," Mayar told KRU website.


Pool A: England, Australia, Samoa, South Korea. Australia 22 Samoa 19, England 52 South Korea 0, Australia 52 South Korea 0, England 12 Samoa 10, Samoa 22 South Korea 12, England 10 Australia 12.

Pool B: South Africa, Canada, Kenya, France. Canada 17 Kenya 14, South Africa 17 France 10, Canada 28 France 14, South Africa 35 Kenya 10, Kenya 29 France 12, South Africa 26 Canada 7.

Pool C: Fiji, New Zealand, Wales, Japan. New Zealand 19 Wales 7, Fiji 36 Japan 0, New Zealand 40 Japan 14, Fiji 17 Wales 17, Wales 34 Japan 21, Fiji 17 New Zealand 14.

Pool D: USA, Argentina, Scotland, Russia. Argentina 22 Scotland 14, USA 14 Russia 7, Argentina 17 Russia 12, USA 19 Scotland 14, Scotland 5 Russia 14, USA 33 Argentina 5.

Challenge Trophy quarterfinals: Samoa v Scotland, Wales v France, Russia v South Korea, Kenya v Japan.

Cup quarterfinals: Australia v Argentina, Fiji v Canada, USA v England, South Africa v New Zealand.