Argentina vs Kenya – USA Sevens Rugby
17 - 12
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Cup Qtr FinalsSam Boyd Stadium03/03/201806:10 PM2018 USA Sevens

For the chance to reach a rare semifinal, the Kenyan fans were out in force. Kenya has twice reached the semifinal of the USA Sevens, but has not done so since 2010. For many years, Kenya was the consummate always a bridesmaid and never a bride. The Kenyans finally broke through in 2016, winning a cup title in Singapore.

Argentina is in even rarer company of nations to have won multiple cup titles. For Argentina, each cup victory came at the USA Sevens, but not since the tournament relocated to Las Vegas. Argentina has thrice been to the USA Sevens final (2004, 2005 & 2009), and won twice (2004 & 2009).

The first on the board was Argentina when Conrado Roura dover across the line. Gaston Revol made short work of the conversion for a 7–0 lead. But Kenya got the louder fanbase on its feet with a breakaway try by Nelson Oyoo and a conversion from Eden Agero to level the score.

A remarkable one-man effort by Luciano Gonzalez from the restart kick drove Argentina to the Kenya twenty-two. Argentina eventually made Gonzalez’s hard work bear fruit with a try in the left corner to end the half.

The second minute of the second half saw Kenya erase the deficit with a try by Willy Ambaka. The conversion having been missed, the two teams were left with 5 minutes of regulation to decide a winner. A minute later, Argentina broke the deadlock with a try in the right corner. Revol’s kick could not extend the lead, keeping Kenya a converted try away from the semifinals.

An argentina knock on inside the Kenya twenty-two with 1:30 remaining gave Kenya its last best hope for victory. A poor pass to the Kenyan winger sent the ball back inside the Kenya try zone. With no option but to dot it down, Kenya faced an attacking five-meter scrum with just under thirty seconds remaining. Argentina won its scrum and pressed for a score, despite the clock being soundly in its favor. Argentina’s choice to go into contact kept the match in doubt for several minutes, but the contact became a maul that ended in touch with the clock showing zeroes: Argentina 17, Kenya 12.

Kenya narrowly misses out on the semifinals. For Argentina, it is a fourth ever trip to the USA Sevens semifinals. Notably, Argentina has never lost in the semifinals in the USA Sevens, having advanced to the final in all three prior occasions.