On paper, many analysts thought Kenya Sevens could found a reprieve but it ended otherwise when the team lost to minnows Ireland and Spain and failed to advance to the main Cup quarterfinals at Vancouver Sevens on Sunday.
After soaking four tries to lose to heavyweights New Zealand 29-0, Kenya Sevens squandered massive opportunities going down to Ireland and Spain 14-12 and 17-14 respectively to finish last in their Pool “C” outing. Kenya will now play Wales in the quarter-final for 13th place at 8.49pm on Sunday.
Vincent Onyala dotted on the blindside before landing to cancel Mark Roche’s own converted opening try for Ireland. Billy Odhiambo would also pass through on the blindside after beating his defenders to land as Collins Injera managed one conversion at a tight angle to give Kenya the lead 12-7. Graham Curtis cashed on Kenya’s poor defence to land as Roche converted for their 14-12 lead at half-time.
Kenya had two great chances to finish off but were easily outmuscled at the rocks with the Irish claiming crucial turnovers.
It was a see-saw in Kenya versus Spain duel. Pablo Fonte landed to give Spain the lead only for Injera to cancel it before Samuel Oliech converted to put Kenya ahead 7-5. Pol Pla’s try had the Europeans go to the break ahead 10-7.
Kenya reclaimed the lead after Injera sealed his double on resumption with Oliech adding the extras.
But another sloppy defending saw Manuel Sainz-Trapaga dot through for the try that Francisco Hernandez converted to make the difference.
New Zealand beat Spain 31-0 and Ireland 33-24 to top the pool and ease to the Cup quarter-finals alongside Spain, who had earlier beaten Ireland 28-26.