Kenya rugby Sevens team has started their Olympics campaign in Rio on a sour note, after registering losses against Great Britain, and New Zealand. Expectations were high when the rugby team qualified for the maiden Rugby Sevens tournament in an Olympics event, after defeating Zimbabwe. Their group offers a challenging prospect, and it includes Great Britain, New Zealand, Japan and the Kenya team.
In the first game against an impressive Great Britain, Kenya Sevens team lost 31-7. The Great Britain team, which consists of players selected from England, Wales and Scotland, were quick to dominate the game early on, as Dan Norton scored the first unconverted try to give them a 5-0 lead. They added to their tally as Sam Burgess try and Mitchell’s converted try gave them a 12-0 lead.
England star Dan Bibby and Mark Bennet closed an emphatic half with tries that ensured the score was 24- 0 at the interval. Kenya came back firing after the interval and although a try from Billy Odhiambo and a successful conversion from Biko Adema renewed hopes of a comeback, it was in vain as Great Britain scored another try.
The second group game which pitted Kenya against New Zealand was pivotal given that it a win could restore the Shujaas’ medal hunt. It wasn’t to be however, as the All Blacks ran out 28-5 winners against Kenya. Unlike the first game in the group, Kenya got off to a good start, as maverick Collins Injera scored the first try of the game, although he was minutes later sin-binned for a high tackle, something which may have turned the game in favor of New Zealand. After that, tries from Akira Ioane, Augustine Pulu and Lewis Ormond, coupled with intelligent tactical play that sought to restrict Kenya’s speedsters was enough to give New Zealand victory.
Kenya next face Japan on Wednesday, after the Asian nation surprised tournament favorites New Zealand, by defeating them 14-12 in their first pool match.