Argentina cage Kenya in Sydney: Amonde scores unconverted try in Shujaa's opener

By Ben Ahenda: Saturday, January 27th 2018 at 00:07 GMT +3 | Rugby
Western Province's Errol jaggers holds on Kenya's Shujaa Andrew Amonde during their 2016 Safari Sevens match at Kasarani Stadium on Sept. 25, 2016.[PHOTO:DENNIS OKEYO/STANDARD]

Kenyans off to poor start in Australia as South Americans hold on for slender victory.

Argentina pulled a fast one on Kenya to sneak away with a 7-5 win at the Sydney Sevens, the third leg of the 2017/2018 HSBC World Rugby Sevens series, inside the Allianz Stadium in Australia yesterday.

It was a disappointing start for Innocent Simiyu’s charges, who were expected to beat Argentina and improve their chances of qualifying for the Main Cup in the last two matches. The other teams in Pool B are France and Wales. The French beat Wales 31-12.

The South Americans proved a tough nut to crack even though Shujaa were also no pushovers in the tough encounter. On-the-comeback-trail Kenya Commercial Banks' Andrew Amonde and captain Oscar Ouma boosted the team’s showing with their experience. 

Argentine flanker Gaston Revol was the first to touch down and later converted to put his side on the lead with a successful conversion.

Amonde, who missed the opening rounds of Dubai Sevens in the United Arab Emirates and Cape Town Sevens in South Africa in December, was outstanding for Shujaa as he scored the unconverted try.

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As opposed to previous contests in Australian cities of Gold Coast and Brisbane, Shujaa staged a fair show despite fielding a mix of young and inexperienced players in the squad -and, of course, the absence of njured speedster and the World second best try scorer Collins Injera. 

Amonde’s return seemed to have brought back confidence and bravery which, if maintained, will be good news for Kenya in today's matches.

Kenya who are in Pool A alongside Argentina, France and Wales play their second match against France at 7:25am before winding up their Down Under tour against the 2009 World Champions Wales at 11:36am.

The tournament’s knockout stages are scheduled for tomorrow at 2pm.