Kenya Sevens lose to Japan to bow out of Los Angeles Sevens

John Okoth of Kenya Sevens 9right) in action against Australia at Los Angeles Sevens.[Courtesy-Kenya Sevens]

Kenya Sevens were on Sunday morning knocked out of the Los Angeles Sevens after a disappointing 7-5 defeat at the hands of bottom placed Japan in their final Group C match.

Poor ball handling skills and indiscipline cases saw Japan deny Kenya an easy route to the Main Cup knock out stages.

Kevine Wekesa scored Shujaa’s only try of the match in the third minute, a center post-try that Daniel Taabu disappointingly failed to convert from point blank range as Shujaa narrowly led 5-0 at the break.

In the final half, the missed conversion came to haunt Kenya as Japan took a 7-5 lead after capitalizing on a numerical advantage.

Shujaa’s Alvin Otieno was sent to the bin for a high tackle play in the opening minutes of the second half, a booking that Japan used to score their try through Koki Yakushiji that was converted by Yoshihiro Noguchi.

Kenya had numerous chances of retaking the lead but Japan held on. In the final minutes after the hooter, Shujaa had a chance to win the match but Anthony Omondi knock on gifted Japan an easy win.

In their second match, Shujaa took the lead through Alvin Otieno who dived over the whitewash in the second minute to lead 5-0 after missed conversion.

Ponepati Loganimasi responded with a try for Fiji which was converted by Waisea Nacuqu to lead 7-5 at half time.

In the second half, Rokoua Rasaku stretched the scores to 14-5 after Iowane Teba’s conversion.

The Olympic defending champions sealed the win moments later through Iowane Teba’s unconverted try as Fiji picked their second win 19-5.

On Saturday, Kenya got off to a perfect start when they defeated Australia 12-7.

Tim Clements gave Australia the lead in the third minute after capitalizing on Kenya’s mistake when Alvin Otieno was penalized for failing to release the ball after a tackle. Stuart Dunbar converted the twos as the Aussies led 7-0.

However, Shujaa would bounce back through Dennis Abukuse who benefited from a world-class liftoff by Kevin Wekesa, a try that was converted by Anthony Omondi who tied the scores at 7-7 at the break.

In the final half, good possession retaining by Shujaa saw Abukuse who features for Menengai Oilers in the Kenya Cup beat two Australian defenders to touch down near the posts.

Shujaa will now drop to 13th place playoffs.

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