The Kenya Sevens alias Shujaa lost their second successive pool game at the Olympics as they went down 14-5 to the Blitzboks of South Africa. The loss now puts Kenya in a very precarious situation, needing to win their last pool match against Ireland on Tuesday to have even the slightest chances of advancing to the quarterfinals.
South Africa went ahead through quick first-half tries from Selvln Davids and Captain Siviwe Soyizwapi with Davids converting his own try. Kenya responded with an unconverted try of their own through stalwart Collins Injera.
The game began on a cagey note, both teams needing maximum points for different reasons. Kenya needed to win the game to get themselves back into contention after losing their first match 14-19 to the USA.
South Africa, on the other hand, needed maximum points to keep up with the USA who had- before this game- won both pool matches. And they would have been thanking their lucky stars as two quick defensive errors by the Kenyans allowed Davids and Soyizwapi to get on the board early on.
Kenya would however put up a fight just before halftime. Collins Injera went over after some fine work down the middle by fly-half Eden Agero. They had a chance to cut down the deficit to just two points with the last phase of play but good defensive work by South Africa thwarted their efforts.
The second half was barren save for a few half chances by Kenya that they eventually blew as South Africa’s work in the breakdown proved a masterstroke. The Innocent Simiyu-coached side will look back at the game and rue their missed chances and litany of errors that cost them maximum points.
Kenya will now face Ireland on Tuesday 27 July at 5.00 am (EAT) in what will be their last pool game. Kenya will have to win the game and hope that they are one of the two best losers set to join the top two teams from each pool in the quarterfinals.
South Africa will take on the USA in what will determine who tops Pool C.