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Kenya 7s too strong in Challenger opener

Saturday, May 18th, 2024 13:40 | By
Kenya 7s in a team photo. PHOTO/(@KenyaSevens)/Kenya 7s/X
Kenya 7s in a team photo. PHOTO/(@KenyaSevens)/Kenya 7s/X

Kenya 7s got off to a flying start in the final leg of the Challenger Series, clinching a resounding victory over Japan with a scoreline of 28-12 in Munich and securing maximum points in the process.

Initially, Japan surged ahead thanks to Shotaro Tsuoka's efforts, but Kenya swiftly countered with a try by Kevin Wekesa. Wekesa's powerful play, coupled with Tony Omondi's conversion, propelled Kenya to a 7-5 lead.

Kenya 7s trail

Despite Kenya's push, Japan managed to hold the lead at halftime with a try by Moeki Fukushi, resulting in a narrow 12-7 advantage.

Kenya 7s (Shujaa) players huddle, PHOTO/Kenya Sevens/Facebook
Kenya 7s (Shujaa) players huddle, PHOTO/Kenya Sevens/Facebook

However, Kenya dominated the second half, with John Okoth breaking through the defense to score a crucial try on the right flank. Omondi's successful conversion swung the lead back in Kenya's favor.

Kenya's momentum only grew stronger as Patrick Odongo capitalized on a Japanese error, scoring the third try of the match. Omondi's accurate conversion extended Kenya's lead to 21-12.

The team's dominance was further highlighted when Chrisant Onjwang, coming off the bench, breached the opposition's defense for the final try of the game. With the successful conversion, Kenya sealed a comprehensive victory at 28-12.

Kenya 7s second match

Looking ahead, Kenya are set to clash with Portugal in their next match at 3:04 p.m. The men's Challenger competition features Uruguay leading Pool A, which includes hosts Germany, Georgia, and Papua New Guinea. In Pool B, Hong Kong, the silver medalist from Montevideo, joins Uganda, Tonga, and Mexico.

Kenya 7s co-captains in Challenger Series. PHOTO/Rugby Africa
Kenya 7s co-captains in Challenger Series. PHOTO/Rugby Africa

Pool C sees Kenya 7s, currently second in the standings, facing off against Chile, Portugal, and Japan. The Munich tournament serves as the culmination of the 2024 Challenger 7s competition, offering a pathway to the prestigious HSBC SVNS in 2025.

The top four men's and women's teams from the Challenger series, based on cumulative points, will qualify for the high-stakes relegation play-off at the HSBC SVNS Grand Final in Madrid on May 31-June 2, 2024. These teams will compete against those ranked ninth to 12th from the HSBC SVNS 2024 for a chance to secure a spot in the 2025 series.

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