Kenya sink Wales, France to storm Sydney quarters

Saturday January 27 2018

Samuel Oliech of Kenya (top) competes for the ball with Tavite Veredamu of France (centre) as Willy Ambaka of Kenya looks on during the Sydney World Rugby Sevens Series tournament in Sydney on January 27, 2018. PHOTO | MARK EVANS |

Samuel Oliech of Kenya (top) competes for the ball with Tavite Veredamu of France (centre) as Willy Ambaka of Kenya looks on during the Sydney World Rugby Sevens Series tournament in Sydney on January 27, 2018. PHOTO | MARK EVANS |  AFP

By AYUMBA AYODI
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Kenya’s Shujaa staged an improved show to see-off Wales and France and ease through to the main Cup quarterfinals of Sydney Sevens at Allianz Stadium, Sydney on Saturday.

It was a magnificent recovery from Shujaa, who had lost to Argentina 7-5 in their Pool “B” opening match on Friday as they downed France 17-14 before silencing Wales 26-10 to sail through.

Argentina went on to beat Wales 28-21 and France 19-12 to qualify to the main Cup quarterfinals alongside Shujaa.

Kenya will now take on South Africa in the main Cup quarters on Sunday after the Dubai Sevens champions topped Pool “C”, beating Papua New Guinea 50-0, Spain 38-0 and England 33-12.

Argentina meet England in the other Cup quarters.

Shujaa were brilliant against Wales as they came from 7-0 down with tries from William Ambaka, Dan Sikuta, Eden Agero and Arthur Owira taking Kenya through for their second Cup quarterfinals this season.

Lloyd Lewis put Wales ahead with a try that John Jones converted. However, Shujaa stepped on their gas pedals to thrill thereafter. Some missed tackles would gift Ambaka and Sikuta tries before Agero converted one try to put Shujaa on the driving seat 12-7 against the Welsh.

Then skipper Oscar Ouma collected the ball from the ruck on the right in the ensuing attack before stringing it to Sikuta on the inside. The Kabras Sugar forward then found Agero, who then followed through on his kick over the Walsh defence to score before converting to lead 19-7 at the break.

Shujaa went on the offensive with Owira collecting the ball from the ruck at Welsh 5m area to dive for the try which Agero converted.

The Welsh showed some moment of brilliance with some good moves upfront that saw Kenya’s defence eventually capitulate. Owen Jenkins scored their second try but Kenya held on.

It was an improved show from Shujaa, who settled 13th at Cape Town, having finished seventh in Dubai after losing to Australia 19-12 in the semi-finals for the fifth place.