Mixed results for Shujaa in Paris leg: IRB Series Sevens team lose to France before beating Spain
It is another poor outing for coach Simiyu and his charges in the World Series.
Kenya Sevens qualification to the Paris Sevens Main Cup hangs in balance after the national team registered mixed results yesterday.
It was the first day of the ninth round of the 2016/17 HSBC Sevens World Series, at the Stade Jean-Bouin.
Shujaa kicked off their campaign on a bad note throwing away a 14-5 first half lead against France in their opening Group C match to lose 20-14.
However, the East African side bounced back to beat invitational nation Spain 26-14 in the second match.
Kenya were due to face bogey team England in their last preliminary match last night (8.26pm EAT).
Frank Wanyama and Billy Odhiambo had given Kenya a 14-0 lead but France pulled one back through Julien Candelon to make the scores 14-5 at the break.
It’s was an exhausting opening couple of minutes with full-on French pressure, but Kenya quietened the home crowd with a super score against the run of play. Wanyama cut inside and used the hand-off to surge to the line and Samuel Oliech whipped over the extra two.
Candelon thought he had brought Les Bleus back into the game only for Odhiambo to take advantage of some tired defensive legs to power over.
Kenya were then reduced to six men after Oliech was sin-binned. The hosts immediately capitalised on the numerical advantage with Jean Pascal reducing the arrears to a point.
Virimi Vakatawa then produced a magnificent display to ground a decisive try and end their poor run against Kenya.
In the second game against Spain, captain Andrew Amonde put Kenya ahead with a converted try before Pablo Fontes drew level.
Odhiambo would outpace the Spanish defence on the right to give Kenya a 12-7 half time lead.
Dennis Ombachi then grounded a converted try a few minutes after the break before Jaiker Carter capitalised on Kenya’s sloppy defending to score the Europeans’ second converted try.
Kenya responded immediately with Eden Agero scoring.