PARIS, France- Shujaa beat Samoa 24-10 in their last Pool A encounter but were still relegated to the Challenge Trophy at the 10th and final leg of 2017/2018 HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series in Paris, France on Saturday night.
Kenya narrowly missed out of the Main Cup quarters on points difference after the cluster dubbed Group of Death in Paris saw series leaders Fiji, New Zealand and Shujaa tied on seven after each won two and lost one.
Fiji, beat New Zealand 26-17 to top Pool A with superior points difference in the other final preliminary round duel.
Shujaa will play Argentina in the Challenge quarters where the winner will either meet Australia or Russia in the semis on Sunday morning with the losers dropping to the 13th Place last four.
It will be the second round in a row and third overall in the current season that Kenya has missed out on the last eight.
However, after dropping to the Challenge competition last weekend at London 7s, Shujaa recovered to win the final by thumping Wales 33-19 to add eight points to their tally and surpass their previous Series best of 99 set in 2012/13 under Mike Friday.
Fiji will meet England while New Zealand lock horns with Friday’s current side, USA with Series champions, South Africa meeting with Spain and Ireland face-off with Canada completing the Paris 7s Cup quarters line-up for Sunday.
After losing to New Zealand in their opener 5-24, Shujaa stunned Fiji who have won the last four legs on the circuit on the bounce 22-19 to blow the race to qualify for the quarters wide open earlier Saturday to leave them needing to beat Samoa in their last encounter to have a sniff at the last eight.
Billy Odhiambo covered the yards and touched down to give Kenya a 5-0 lead in the second minute for an unconverted try, a recurrent theme on Saturday that ultimately cost them the points they needed to .
Shujaa were too quick for the breakdown for Samoa as Odhiambo took it blind to round the defence and open the score sheet.
Samoa leveled the scores 5-5 two minutes later through David Jerusalem Afamasaga whose try was not converted by Tomasi Alosio.
Head coach Innocent ‘Namcos’ Simiyu brought in Brian Tanga in the fifth and the player’s inclusion was quickly rewarded as his contribution aided Odhiambo to score his brace to put Kenya 10-5 at half time.
Shujaa star, Collins Injera, scored his 270th try in the eighth which was converted by Agero to stretch Kenya’s advantage to 17-5.
Injera had cut in from his right wing with perfect execution to completely wrong-foot the defenders to score.
Samoa were reduced to six for a deliberate knock-on which made the last four of second half a complete test for their side.
Tanga cruised to drop another converted five-pointer in the 12th to take Kenya’s tally to 24-5.
Joe Perez scored a consolation try for Samoa to reduce the gap to 24-10 but it was too little too late as Kenya fashioned an impressive win against the 2015 Paris 7s Cup winners.
Shujaa Paris 7s Pool A Results
New Zealand 24 5 Kenya
Kenya 22 19 Fiji
Kenya 24 10 Samoa
Fiji 35 12 Samoa
New Zealand 22 17 Samoa
Fiji 26 17 New Zealand