Lionesses bite the dust in Hong Kong Sevens

By Clement Wekulo: Saturday, April 6th 2019 at 00:00 GMT +3 | Rugby
Brazil's Luiza Gonzalez Da Costa Campos touches down a try against Kenya on day two of the World Rugby Women's Sevens Series Qualifier in Hong Kong on 5 April 2019. [Courtesy]

For a second successive year, Kenya’s dream of qualifying for the World Women’s Sevens Series was shattered at the semi-final stage as the Lionesses lost 17-5 to Brazil at the Hong Kong Sevens yesterday.

The Kevin Wambua-coached team went to the tie after surviving a scare in their 17-15 quarter-final win over another South American outfit Argentina.

There was, however, no second let-off for the East Africans as Brazil’s tactical superiority saw them dominate the entire contest while enjoying the lion’s share of possession.

Brazil, who were eventually crowned champions of the 12-team tournament, scored three tries and two conversions while Kenya could only manage a solitary try which was not converted.

The Brazilians were first to settle and they stamped authority as early as the second minute when Bianca Dos Santos delivered the opening try. The ensuing conversion attempt sailed wide as Lionesses found it difficult to make inroads in the Brazilian territory.

Janet Okello drew the sides level as she latched onto her kick to ground the ball for an unconverted try. The parity was short-lived with the speedy Dos Santos returning to the scoresheet to seal her brace with another five-pointer. 

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Lionesses’ efforts of staging a comeback were hindered by indiscipline as they were forced to play with a numerical disadvantage following Camilla Atieno’s dismissal.  

Against Argentina in the quarter-finals, it was an unconverted try by Camilla at the death which took Kenya to the last four.

The Argentines had raced to an early 10-0 lead courtesy of unconverted tries by Josefina Padellaro and Maria before Lionesses halved the deficit through a Janet Okello unconverted try on the stroke of half time.

Maria Pedrozo crossed the whitewash for Argentina before Janet Owino converted Grace Adhiambo’s try to make it a three-point game. Camilla would provide the match winner for the Lionesses as she powered her way over the chalk.

Meanwhile, Lionesses counterparts  Shujaa opened their Hong Kong Sevens on a sour note, losing 22-5 to Fiji.

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