Colorless Kenya taken to 7's school by Fiji and Australia in Tokyo

By the punter
Mar 23, 2021
  • South Africa's Frankie Horne looks for support in the match against Kenya in Tokyo Sevens. South Africa head the Series after Tokyo tournament. (Photo Courtesy IRB)

Missed tackles, two yellow cards and lukewarm approach summed up the performance of a colorless Kenya Sevens team which stepped on the pitch to play Australia in the Plate quarter final of the Tokyo Sevens.

What was billed up as an exciting match turned out to be a business-as-usual for the clinical Australians who taught Kenya the basics of the shorter version of the game.

First, Australia muscled the Kenyans, won 50/50 balls in the rucks by holding them up and winning back possession. It is a tactic which Australia has mastered whenever they play against Kenya.

Then, Australia forced their opponents into making schoolboy errors and unsettled the East Africans at contact points.

Kenya’s main weakness was in receiving the kick offs where Australia easily won back possession.

In this match, Paul Treu, Kenya’s coach started with Maxwell Theuri at scrum-half instead of Collins Injera and he was not quick in getting the ball to the backs. The game was summed up by Australia’s Cameron Clark who knocked the ball out of Oscar Ouma’s hands in the try area.

Hands over the head

Billy Odhiambo had broken through and passed the ball to Ouma who raced to the try line and was surprised by Clark as he showed no urgency in scoring the try. With his hands over the head, Ouma walked away dejected to the scrum down in Australia’s favor.

Rugby commentators have coined a word for Kenya in which they say "it depends on which Kenyan team turns out on the day." On the second day, a very different Kenyan team showed up at the Prince Chichibu Memorial ground in Tokyo. This Kenyan team soaked up 79 points and scored 19.

For their efforts, Kenya collected 10 points and moved one place up the IRB Sevens Series rankings swapping places with Argentina.

The next big stage is in Hong Kong where Kenya will again face Fiji, winners of Tokyo Sevens in Pool A. Other teams in this pool are Wales and Sri Lanka.

Standings: South Africa 116, New Zealand 114, Fiji 95, England 85, Australia 72, Samoa 59, Kenya 56, Argentina 56, Canada 53, Wales 45, France 43, Scotland 37, USA 27, Portugal 22, Spain 9, Japan 5, Tonga 2, Russia 1, Uruguay 1, Zimbabwe 1.

Hong Kong Sevens Draw

Pool A: Fiji, Kenya, Wales, Sri Lanka; Pool B: South Africa Australia, France, Spain; Pool C: England, Canada, Argentina, Portugal; Pool D: New Zealand, USA, Scotland, Samoa.