Vincent Onyala scored a hat-trick of tries as Kenya survived a late scare from Samoa to win 21-20 in a closely contested Pool “B” duel in the London Sevens at Twickenham Stadium on Saturday.
Johnstone Olindi converted two first half tries from Onyala as Paul Murunga's charges went for the breather 14-10 up. The Samoans would the rally to take 15-10 lead before Onyala touched down with Olindi converting for a 21-15 lead. Samoa had a last-gasp chance to win but their try was unconverted.
Earlier on, Bush Mwale scored a brace of tries but a much-improved Kenya Sevens still lost to defending champions Fiji 24-17 in their opening match of London Sevens.
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.
In the other Pool match, France edged out Samoa 22-14.
Kenya, who are chasing their first main Cup quarterfinal appearance this season, meet France at 6.26pm on Saturday.