Kenya survive a Tonga scare to advance in RWC 7’s pre-round 16

By the punter
Jul 21, 2018
  • Nelson Oyoo scored twice to steer Kenya to the next round of the RWC 7’s tournament. (Photo by David Kiania)

Oscar Ayodi, the Kenya Sevens captain admitted that playing against Tonga was not going to be easy but is glad to have bagged the win.

"It is always hard to play in the first match. Glad to have got over for it. For us it is one match at a time and then we look forward to the next match against Scotland," Ayodi stated.

The captain did not underestimate the physicality of their opponents. "We knew that they were going to be tough and were prepared for a physical game."

In this match, Kenya had a shaky start and rallied from 0-7 down to trail 5-7 at halftime.

Fine Tokai scored the first try in the sixth minute and Samiu Muna converted for a 7-0 lead.

Kenya made use of a numerical advantage after Tokai was sent to the sin bin in the sixth minute when Nelson Oyoo was put through by Collins Injera to score with 47 seconds left. Samuel Oliech missed the conversion.

Ayodi explained that at half time, the coach, Innocent Simiyu urged the players to be patient and make use of the chances they had, because: "In the first half, we really did not play our game. That is what we talked about at half time and decided to step up."

Immediately after resumption, Oyoo scored the second try and Oliech converted for the 12-7 lead. Oyoo was then called upon to make a try-saving tackle towards the end of the end of this half.

Injera who is competing in his third RWC 7’s scored the third try after build up from a scrum down near Kenya’s five when Jeff Oluoch broke through and gained good ground just before the try.

Eden Agero converted to steer Kenya to the next round match against Scotland.

The weather at the AT&T Part Stadium was favorable to the Kenyans who are familiar with the hot and humid conditions. They were cheered by hundreds of traveling fans who had started arriving as early as 9 a.m. for the kick off of the women’s category matches.