It was a dream start for Kenya Sevens when they scored four tries to beat Samoa 24-19 in their opening Pool “D” duel of the South Africa Sevens Town at Cape Town Stadium on Friday.
Dan Sikuta, Alvin Otieno, Daniel Taabu and Billy "The Kid" Odhiambo touched down a try each as Kenya led 17-7 at the break to dismantle Samoa.
Taabu kicked in two conversions for Kenya, who finished 13th in the opening leg of the 2019/2020 World Rugby Series, in Dubai last weekend.
Joe Perez, Tomasi Alosio and Belgium Tuatagaloa’s exploits for Samoa, who finished fourth in Dubai, fell short.
Kenya will meet Australia at 11.57am and Ireland at 5:47pm on Saturday, and victory for Paul Feeney’s side will see take them to their second main Cup appearance in two seasons.
Their only Cup quarterfinal appearance last season was in the final leg in Paris.
“We are glad for the victory since we played well and dug deep,” said skipper Andrew Amonde.
“It’s a good start for us and we only need to focus on the next game.”
Amonde paid tribute to Otieno, who scored perhaps one of the best tries in the tournament.
“It’s all about character since it changed everything and we would like to encourage him to continue what he is doing,” said Amonde.
The explosive Otieno made his presence known when he tore through Samoa’s territory dragging along defenders with him. Otieno was brought down, but formed a ruck to set up Sikuta for the touchdown.
Taabu’s conversion sailed wide, but he would atone for it with a super move when he tapped the ball off a penalty, side-stepped his defenders before offloading to Sikuta.
Sikuta then laid Otieno to land their second try for a 10-0 lead.
Samoa cashed in on Kenya’s defensive lapse to score through Perez and reduce the deficit to 10-7.
Otieno was at it again to waylay three defenders before forming another ruck. Taabu laid his hands on the ball to weave through the defence to land and give Kenya a 17-7 lead at the break.
Odhiambo went to the scoreboard for Kenya’s fourth try as Taabu added the extras for the victory as the Samoans rallied in vain.