France vs Kenya – USA Sevens Rugby
7 - 14
Challenge Semi FinalsSam Boyd Stadium03/05/201712:08 PMUSA Sevens

The start of the challenge trophy semifinal saw a perfectly executed deep-kickoff put Kenya deep in its own territory. A penalty turnover gave France great position, which culminated in a try for Alexandre Lagarde. In a continuation of fantastic striking all weekend, France added the conversion. After the restart, Kenya looked for another quintessentially Kenayan score, with a cracking run into space, but France refused to give up, earning a five-meter lineout for the effort. Although France won the lineout, a drop in-goal gave Kenya an attacking five-meter scrum. Remarkably, France survived unscathed and was able to use the roaring wind for a massive clearing kick. Despite early errors leading Kenya to retreat, another cracking run looked set for a try, abut was again stopped when Willy Ambaka was unable to fend the French tackler. Kenya again ended up with a five-meter attacking scrum, and again failed to convert after a break down in fundamentals. France was unable to get the ball back out of its own half, and Kenya finally got in for a try under the post by Bush Mwale. The conversion leveled the score at the break.

The kickoff sent France tracking backward, which proved particularly problematic with a knock just ten-meters shy of its own try line. Kenya won the scrum but a mental lapse by Billy Odhiambo gave an easily avoidable penalty to France. From the lineout on halfway, France was forced to give up meter after meter after meter looking for space. Failing to ever advance further than the spot of the throw in, Kenya made the turnover and worked the ball wide to Amabaka after a penalty at midfield. Ambaka sliced into the French twenty-two setting up another penalty in favor of Kenya. Despite the favorable position, Kenya once more came up empty handed when a knock-on gave the ball back to France. A foolish decision to spread the ball wide without matching numbers led to a penalty in favor of Kenya. The even worse decision to throw the ball away upon the awarding of the penalty left France down to six players after a yellow card. Collins Injera took the opportunity to place even further distance between himself and Dan Norton in the career try table, now at 241 all time. It also, more importantly, placed his home nation ahead by seven with a yellow card in its favor, and the clock quickly plunging toward the one minute mark. A Kenyan penalty kept France alive, leading to a kick for touch with just under a minute remaining, and bringing France back to seven men. Just after time expired, France got to within centimeters of the line, where France picked the ball and attempted to muscle through several Kenyan defenders. The questionable choice to do so led to a predictable hold-up in in-goal ending the match and France’s tournament. Kenya 14, France 7.