Kenya collect 10 points in Hamilton after stunning South Africa

Monday, January 27th, 2020 00:00 |
Kenya’s Andrew Amonde in action against England at last weekend’s Hamilton Sevens in New Zealand. Photo/AFP

Poor conversions, inability to hold onto leads and less impact from the bench are the key things Kenya Sevens coach Paul Feeney will need to work on ahead of the Sydney leg this weekend.

Kenya lost half-time leads against England and Argentina after a stunning 36-14 win over South Africa to collect 10 points after finishing eighth in Hamilton but the tally could have been more had they avoided a few mistakes.

Shujaa got off to a bright start, taking a commanding 19-5 lead against England on Saturday morning before holding on for a 19-12 advantage at the break.

However, Kenya could not make the advantage count as they allowed England back in the game and the Englishmen handed them a 24-19 loss.

That might have affected Shujaa psychologically as they could only manage a 12-12 draw with minnows Japan in their second group match, leaving them needing an unlikely victory against South Africa to bring their campaign back on track.

Against all odds, Kenya delivered where everyone had written them off. 

Collins Injera, featuring in his 80th World Series tournament, set up debutant Geoffrey Okwach who dashed to score a historic first try against the South Africans before the former and Willy Ambaka notched in more for a 19-7 half-time lead.

Going by past experience, Kenya’s lead was still not safe but vice captain Jeff Oluoch, Alvin ‘Buffa’ Otieno and Vincent Onyala scored a try each in the last period to shock the Blitzbokes 36-14.

It was a memorable result for Shujaa which saw Kenya finish second their group while the mighty South Africa were relegated to third.

In the older, second place in the group would have meant a quarter-final match but the new format now sees only the group winners proceed to the latter stages, meaning Kenya went into the seventh place playoff where they faced Argentina.

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