Kenya slides to 8th spot in IRB Series

By the punter
Jan 27, 2022
  • Collins Injera leads the Kenya Sevens team out of the Sam Boyd Stadium after defeating Spain in the Bowl Semis. Photo by Eric Odanga.

LAS VEGAS - Kenya’s slide down the International Rugby Board World Sevens Series ranking continued after the USA, Sevens which ended at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas on Sunday.

By reaching the Bowl final, Kenya collected seven points for a total of 39 after four rounds and are now placed eighth. They swapped places with Samoa who lost to Canada in the play-off. Kenya and Samoa tied on 32 points before USA Sevens.

In the Bowl final, Kenya was beaten 35-0 why an unforgiving Fiji, winners of the play-off who before the tournament had 32 points.

Coach Paul Treu was disappointed to have missed the cup quarter final by two points. “The result against Fiji was disappointing. We will regroup as a team and correct some of the mistakes we made,” the coach said after the match.

However, he was pleased with the results against South Africa and Spain. “Against South Africa, we were very aggressive but Fiji forced us to play a tight game,” the coach observed.

The progress of two rookies, Michael Agevi and Tony Owuor also got the nod from Treu. “They have had time to play in pressure matches on a big stage and did well,” Treu stated.

Treu observed positives

Although Kenya was outplayed by Fiji in the Bowl final, Treu took the positives noting that Humphrey Kayange who is playing in his first tournament would be key after conditioning. The return of some of the injured players among them Michael Wanjala and Andrew Amonde will be key to a good performance.

Kenya’s Pool A produced a winner in South Africa and Canada, the third-placed team. “It was a tough Pool. We missed a cup quarter final by two points! No pool is easier though,” Treu commented.

In the Bowl semi-final, Kenya rallied from 0-7 down to beat Scotland 21-7. It was a slow start for Kenya who were confined in their half in the opening three minutes. Scotland had an early chance when they stole the ball from an over throw in the line out but knocked on in Kenya’s 22.

Kenya’s first incursion in the Scotland half was after three successive penalties which saw Oscar Ouma and Horace Otieno combine well but did not score. Oscar Ayodi was the next to break through the Scotland ranks but the final pass to Biko Adema missed the mark.

Scotland awarded penalty

With the buzzer gone, Scotland were awarded a penalty inside Kenya’s 22 and Lee Jones raced over. Colin Gregor converted. In the second half, Scotland were awarded a penalty from the kick off but the Kenya defence held well.

Oscar Ouma then powered past two tackles and Dennis Ombachi was on hand to score under the posts. Adema converted to tie the scores 7-7. Collins Injera Injera was the next to break through the Scotland ranks and Billy Odhiambo scored under the posts. Adema converted for Kenya to lead 14-7.

Injera then scored the third try from a solo effort after nipping from the base of the scrum. Adema was sure.

South Africa retained the USA Sevens title by beating New Zealand 14-4 in the final while Canada edged out Samoa 22-19 in the play-off. USA beat Spain in the Shield final.

Results

Cup quarter finals: South Africa 36 Argentina 0, Samoa 12 Australia 10, France 14 Canada 17, New Zealand 24 England 7; Semi-final: South Africa 14 Samoa 0, Canada 7 New Zealand 26; Final: South Africa 14 New Zealand 7.

Play-off: Samoa 19 Canada 22.

Plate Semi-finals: Argentina 19 Australia 24, France 12 England 21; Final: Australia 24 England 26.

Bowl quarter finals: Kenya 24 Spain 0, Portugal 7 Scotland 31, USA 7 Wales 12, Fiji 36 Uruguay 14; Semi-finals: Kenya 21 Scotland 7, Wales 12 Fiji 40; Final: Kenya 0 Fiji 35.

Shield Semi-final: Spain 19 Portugal 12, USA 28 Uruguay 14; Final: Spain 0 USA 31.

Standings: South Africa 78, New Zealand 77, Fiji 56, England 53, Samoa 47, Australia 46, Argentina 43, Kenya 39, France 33, Wales 32, Canada 31, Scotland 23, Portugal 20, USA 12, Spain 6.