The Shujaa of Kenya are through to the ninth-place final after beating hosts Japan 21-7 in the ranking semifinal. Shujaa will now play Ireland on Wednesday 28 at 3.30 am (EAT).
Japan has had a relatively difficult time after that exhilarating start against Olympics defending champions Fiji and their intentions to end the tournament on a high was on display in this match.
Japan went ahead with a converted try and would have made it two were it not for defensive astuteness by Shujaa.
A quick turnover play by Shujaa released Alvin “Buffa” Otieno who went on a rampage down the left flank and through to the try line for a converted try. Soon after, Jeff Oluoch sliced through the Japanese defense line to go over for Kenya’s second converted try. 14-7 is how things ended in the first half.
The second half was more or less the same as the first, Japan probing as Shujaa was relied on their defense to bail them out. Eventually, Collins Injera helped turn a half-chance into points as he released Captain Andrew Amonde down the middle for a try under the posts. The try was converted for a 21-7 lead.
Shujaa then did everything to hold on to that score until the final whistle. This was Kenya’s first win of the tournament as earlier; they blew the little chances they had of qualifying for the medal quarterfinals as they went down 7-12 to Ireland.
They face off again in the ninth-place final. Meanwhile, the Blitzboks of South Africa takes on Argentina in the last medal quarterfinal of the day.