It was a tense exchange of leads as Kenya Sevens lost to South Africa 17-12 in their opening Pool “D” duel at Dubai Sevens at Sevens Stadium on Thursday.
A charging skipper Andrew Amonde lost the ball in the ruck after a tackle before South Africa cashed on it for a splendid build up that saw Ryan Oosthuizen make the try. They failed to convert but led 5-0.
Individual brilliance from the burly Alvin Otieno saw him crush through tackles with smashing hand-off on the left to score behind the posts. Daniel Taabu added the extras as the exciting Shujaa took a 7-5 lead.
Then a lovely chip from Taabu mid-deep to the left saw Vincent Onyala pace to pick the ball on the line before landing a pulsating try, but Taabu failed with the kick as Kenya took a 12-5 lead at the break.
The second half proved a thriller but it’s South Africa who took advantage of Kenya’s mistakes with Rosko Specman and Seabelo Senatla landing to give Blitzeboke the hard-earned victory.
England had earlier on beaten Spain 36-7 in the other Pool “D” outing.
Kenya Sevens will now meet England in their second match at 12:26pm, before facing Spain at 6.32pm in their last Pool matches on Friday.
They must win all the matches if they hope to make the main Cup quarters.