HSBC Paris 7s: Kenya beats Fiji

The national men's sevens rugby team warming up before their match against Kenya. PICTURE: Pauline Koyamaibole

FIJI Airways national men’s sevens rugby team has to beat New Zealand to qualify for the quarterfinals of the HSBC Paris 7s.

This after the side lost 19-22 to Kenya who played some good running rugby that was ironically typically Fijian.

But it was not the only upset of the tournament with Fiji’s closest competitor on the points table, South Africa losing to Scotland 12-14 and Australia to Spain.

The Kenyans rattled the Fijian defence with veteran Collins Injera going through for a try early in the first half.

Willy Ambaka continued the momentum dotting another try but the conversion was unsuccessful again.

Minutes later Andrew Amonde added to Fiji’s woes and sent the Kenyan fans into a frenzy with another try.

Again, it was unconverted, the Kenyans led 15-0 as the clock ticked for half time.

Just on the brink of half time, Semi Kunatani breaks the Kenyan line for Fiji’s first try which was converted by Waisea Nacuqu.

At the start of the second half, Kenya threatened the Fiji defence again and capitalised on the side being a man down with Eroni Sau in the sin bin.

Eric Ombasa scored Kenya’s fourth which was converted taking their points 22.

Less than two minutes before full time, Fiji regrouped with Josua Vakurunabuli scoring out wide to narrow the score margin to 10 points.

He followed suite with another which was not converted.

At the stroke of full time, Fiji had the possession at the restart but Kenya held on and ended the game with a win.

Fiji’s loss was one of the upsets at the tournament with South Africa losing to Scotland 12-14 and Australia to Spain 10-17.

South Africa scraped through 22-19 against Russia in their second game.

Fiji plays New Zealand at 5.41am Fiji time.