Spring back in Kenya camp

By eric odanga
Mar 03, 2021
  • Kenya bounced back to edge out Argentina in their Pool C but dropped to the Challenge Trophy where they beat Japan to set a date with Spain. (Courtesy World Rugby)

The spring was back in the Kenya camp after a hard-fought 28-15 win over Japan in the quarter final of the Challenge Trophy.

They face Spain the the semi-final on Sunday as the curtains come down on the 10th USA Sevens at the Sam Boyd Stadium.

The win came with an injury to one of the key players Brian Wandera announced his arrival at the Sam Boyd Stadium by silencing USA forward Danny ‘Boom Boom’ Barrett.

He could be on his way home for recovery. Johnstone Olindi will be joining the squad in Vancouver, Canada. Herman Humwa also received a knock and will be off for three days but is expected to recover and play in Canada.

For the second successive match, Kenya had to rally from 7-15 down to win only their second match at the tournament after beating Argentina earlier in the day.

Siosifa Lisala score the opening try in the first minute finishing a move which he started and being the recipient when the ball was recycled back in play.

But, Cyprian Kuto replied with a try after a dashing run from his half and Daniel Taabu converted for the lead to change hands 7-5 in Kenya’s favor.

When Charles Omondi was yellow carded by the referee Paolo Duarte, Naoki Motomura used the numerical advantage by beating Jacob Ojee and Taabu to score and reclaim the lead 10-7.

When Kameli Soejima scored the third try in the sixth minute to stretch Japan’s lead 15-7, it appeared the die was cast before, Kenya rallied back with a Vincent Onyala try which Taabu converted to close the gap 15-14 in Japan’s favor.

Bush Mwale scored the third try for Kenya in the 12th minute sparking off a dancing frenzy among the players on the field and fans on the stands. Taabu slotted the conversion for Kenya to lead 21-15.

Onyala went over for the second time in the 13th minute for a 28-15 win to set up a date with Spain on Sunday in the Challenge Trophy semi-finals.

Results

Pool A: New Zealand, Spain Canada, Samoa - Spain 12 Canada 12, New Zealand 33 Samoa 0, Spain 21 Samoa 26, New Zealand 33 Canada 19, Canada 19 Samoa 26, New Zealand 19 Spain 7.

Pool B: USA, France, Argentina, Kenya - France 15 Argentina 17, USA 26 Kenya 10, France 31 Kenya 7, USA 24 Argentina 26.

Pool C: England, South Africa, Japan, Chile - South Africa 24 Japan 0, England 17 Chile 0, South Africa 5 Chile 5, England 31 Japan 12, Japan 19 Chile 7, England 12 South Africa 27.

Pool D: Fiji, Australia, Wales, Scotland - Australia 28 Wales 0, Fiji 36 Scotland 12, Australia 24 Scotland 12, Fiji 33 Wales 14, Wales 14 Scotland 19, Fiji 15 Australia 26, Argentina 19 Kenya 24, USA 19 France 10.

Cup quarter finals: New Zealand 19 Fiji 14, South Africa 10 USA 29, Australia 20 Samoa 21, Argentina 26 England 21; Semi-finals: New Zealand v USA, Samoa v Argentina; Final:

Play-off:

Fifth and sixth place play off semis: Fiji v South Africa; Australia v England; Final:  

Challenge Trophy quarter finals: Spain 19 Wales 7, Japan 15 Kenya 28, Scotland 21 Canada 19, France 12 Chile 17; Semi Finals: Spain v Kenya; Scotland v Chile; Final:.

13th place semi-finals: Wales v Japan, Scotland v France; Final:.