Bush Mwale scored a brace of tries but a much-improved Kenya Sevens still lost to defending champions Fiji 24-17 in their opening Pool “B” duel of London Sevens at Twickenham Stadium on Saturday.
Aminiasi Tuimaba weaved through the Kenya defence to put Fiji on the board as Livai Ikanikoda converted for a 7-0 lead.
Kenya would recycle the ball well with good passes as Mwale finished off after a brilliant exchange between Andrew Amonde and Jeff Oluoch.
Kenya then lost possession after Amonde was stopped metres away as Meli Derenalagi broke through to score and stretch their lead to 12-5.
In a show of resilience, Kenyans staged some good ruck play before Mwale finished it off as Johnstone Olindi converted to level 12-12 at the break.
Fiji would work hard before Tuimaba completed his brace to reclaim the lead 17-12 but the Kenyans were not going down without a fight. That resulted into Jeff Oluoch’s scintillating try to bring it all square again at 17-17 after Olindi missed the conversion.
The key moment came when referee Mat Rodden sin-binned Brian Wandera for a high tackle with two minutes remaining. Fiji would prove ruthless with Paula Dranisinukula quickly crossing to land the winning try for Fiji.
In the other Pool match, France edged out Samoa 22-14.
Kenya, who are chasing their first main Cup quarterfinal appearance this season, meet Samoa at 3.30pm while Fiji are up against France at 3.42pm on Saturday.