Sevens rugby team Shujaa bounced back on Day Two with crucial wins to remain 13th on the log of the 16-team HSBC World Sevens Series competition at the National Stadium, Singapore.
Despite missing the main cup quarter-finals for the eighth time in a row owing to finishing fourth in Pool C of Singapore leg, Shujaa bounced back with two wins against Japan and Spain to restore confidence and hopes of remaining a core team in the World competition.
Against Spain for the 13th position, Shujaa went for the breather with a 14-0 lead courtesy of two converted tries scored by forwards Vincent Onyala and Bush Mwale feeding off Spain’s costly errors.
Daniel Taabu converted both half time tries and returned to seal the win for Kenya with an own third converted try for a 21-5 win to mark Kenya’s third win this weekend.
Shujaa had earlier in the semi-finals eliminated rivals Japan, avenging last weekend’s 12-21 Challenge Trophy semi-finals loss with a 31-24 score courtesy of five tries and three conversions against four tries and two conversions in the thriller-a-minute clash determined by skipper Jeff Oluoch’s last play try to break a 24-24 tie.
Former captain Andrew Amonde opened the scores with a 7-0 lead furthered by Daniel Taabu with two converted tries. Jeff Oluoch then rescued the team with two second half tries to end Japan’s 13th place hunt, the main try coming in the last play to celebrate their third win of the weekend.
Meanwhile, Kenya met by great opposition by France in the Challenge Trophy quarter-finals, rallying from behind to try to steal a lead from the French without success as France skipper Jean Pascal had given their side a two-try lead.
Bush Mwale scored Kenya’s first try in the seventh minute to head to the break trailing 14-7. Daniel Taabu scored the second try and converted the second try as well to reduce the French gap to within a try but France ensured the win was within their grasp with a fourth and final try for a 24-12 win at full time.
Kenya’s fate to miss out of the main cup quarterfinals was decided by fourth place finish in Pool C despite beating Wales in the last pool match played on Saturday.
Kenya kicked off with a hurtful 36-7 loss to England in the pool opener clashed followed by a hotly contested 14-17 loss to the Series leaders USA.
Kenya then silenced standings rivals Wales with a 19-14 win courtesy of tries by Vincent Onyala, debutant Oscar Dennis and Daniel Taabu to register first win in Singapore but goal difference had Wales finish third in pool C instead.
Kenya 7-36 England
Kenya 14-17 USA
Kenya 19-14 Wales
Challenge Trophy quarter-finals
Kenya 12-24 France
13th place semi-finals
Kenya 31-24 Japan
13th place playoff
Kenya 21-5 Spain