Kenya reached a milestone in their World Rugby Sevens Series endeavour by crossing the 100-point barrier for the first time since their debut in the circuit 19 years ago.
Shujaa outclassed Wales 33-19 in the Challenge Trophy final to bag silverware and eight crucial points that raised Kenya’s tally to 101 with the final Paris leg coming this week.
Turning out in the penultimate leg of 2017/18 season in London over the weekend, Kenya put behind the disappointment of failing to make the Main Cup quarters by romping past Spain and Argentina in Challenge Trophy quarter-finals and the semi-final to set up a final duel with Wales.
Kenya went into the tournament just seven points shy of the 100-point mark and fought hard in the Challenge Trophy to reach the milestone after their group stage humbling.
Face-to-face with a United Kingdom member state in the finals, Shujaa went behind almost immediately after kick-off, Afon Bagshaw cutting right in the middle to put Wales ahead. Tries by William Ambaka, Collins Injera and Jeffrey Oluoch, however, sent Kenya 21-14 at the break as Luke Morgan had grounded the ball for Wales.
Eden Agero scored but missed the resultant conversion and Jared Roser responded for Wales to leave the scores 26-19 in favour of Kenya going into the final minute. Shujaa then endured a nervy end to the game, sighing with relief after Oluoch completed a sensational run to take the game beyond Wales for a 33-19 and guarantee Kenya their second Challenge Trophy this season.
Second all-time try scorer in the circuit Collins Injera expressed joy at crossing the millennium points haul, saying: “We came here with a target but every leg has its dynamics. Our group was very tough and we failed to progress in the Main Cup but we rallied to attain the most points available from this tournament.”
The team rallied to draw 19-all with USA then narrowly beat France 24-21 in the second group match. However, a 38-12 drubbing at the hands of home team England ended Kenya’s hopes of reaching their eighth Main Cup quarter-final in nine legs this season. Shujaa thus dropped to Challenge Trophy category where they walloped Spain and Argentina on the way to the fifth place play-off final.