Kenya qualifed for the Hamilton Sevens Cup quarter finals for the first time this season with unbeaten record after getting two wins and a draw at the fourth round of the 2017/2018 HSBC Sevens World Series in New Zealand, yesterday.
Identical 19-14 victories over Samoa and Canada followed by a 19-19 gritty draw against Mike Friday’s USA saw the former Singapore Sevens champions ?nish on top of Group D with eight points, one point ahead of Samoa who beat USA to the second spot.
Kenya were due to clash with recently crowned Sydney champions Australia in the Cup quarter final match this morning at 3.20 am an hour after Samoa had taken on Group A winners Fiji. It was a type of performance that left Kenya coach Innocent Simiyu a delighted more so after forcing USA to a 19-19 draw in what was an explosive-decisive final Group match.
“I was nervous because they had good speed and players out wide but I believe in them and they took it up a level,” a visibly excited Simiyu told The World Rugby TV.
Kenya made brilliant start to the decisive match with Nelson Oyoo flying through the grass to touch down before Jeffrey Oluoch scored a converted try to double the lead.
Willy Ambaka would run away from attempted tackles with his lightning pace to make it 19-0 before pacy Perry Baker pulled a converted try back just before the breather. USA came back into the second half a more rejuvenated side trying to make a great response. Their efforts paid off with Carlin Isles grounding a brace of tries, one which was converted, drew the USA level.