PARIS, France- Kenya Shujaa lost 5-24 to New Zealand in their Pool A opener at the 10th and final leg of 2017/2018 HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series in Paris, France on Saturday morning.
Shujaa tok the lead through Willy Ambaka who dotted the line in the first minute but Eden Agero missed the conversion for 0-5.
Dylan Collier leveled the scores 5-5 for the New Zealanders in the third but Kurt Baker also failed in his conversion attempt. Collier grounded the ball for his brace in the fifth to give his side a 5-10 lead.
Baker scored and converted a try to give his side a 5-17 advantage at half time.
New Zealand maintained the tempo on resumption, scoring a fast converted five-pointer in the seventh minute through Tim Mikkelson to make it 5-24.
Shujaa tried all the tricks in the book to reduce the deficit but all were thwarted by the well-oiled and flawless Kiwis who meant business.
Ambaka did several solo runs on the left flank but all were successfully halted by the opponents.
Kenya’s top try scorer, Collins Injera, also tried to use his pace on the right but with futile results.
Series leader, Fiji, who are also in group A, hammered Samoa 35-12 in their opening match.
Kenya will clash with Fiji at 2:46 pm (Kenyan time/+3GMT) before rounding their group assignment against Samoa at 7:52pm.
Shujaa won the Challenge Trophy in London last weekend to finish ninth and bag eight points that set a new record for the team at 101 points.
This surpassed their previous best Series tally of 99 set in the 2012/13 campaign ahead of the 10th and season closing round in Paris this weekend.
Shujaa Paris 7s Pool A Results
New Zealand 24 5 Kenya
Fiji 35 12 Samoa