Following an exciting victory against Fiji, yesterday morning, Kenya’s hopes of booking a trip to the semifinal were dashed in a tough defeat to Argentina. But Kenya still had the chance to reach the nation’s highest finish of the season, with the previous high being sixth in Hamilton.
For Australia, the loss to South Africa in the final match of Day 2 ended a streak of two-consecutive semifinal appearances, which included a gold medal in Sydney and bronze in Hamilton. On the season, Australia has not lost two matches outside of pool play, which boded quite well for Australian hopes of repeating their fifth-place finish in Dubai. A win was also an important target to keep pace with Fiji sitting only two ranking points ahead of Australia in the season standings.
Australia wasted no time at all taking the 7–0 lead when James Stannard scored in the left corner a mere twenty seconds in. He converted his score with ease. Two minutes later, it was Jeffery Oluoch seaming through yellow shirts to score in the center. The simple, but important conversion was added by Eden Agero.
With the match level at seven each, Australia took a penalty from the Kenya twenty-two and worked it out to the left wing for John Porch who happily accepted the try on offer. Ben O’Donnell pushed the lead out to seven. Just before the intermission, Kenya found an inch of space and took fifty meters of territory for a converted try to secure a level match for the second half.
The start of the second half was almost identical to the start of the first as Lachie Anderson tore down the field for a try under the post thirty-seven seconds into the eighth minute. O’Donnell added the conversion. But, unlike the first half, Kenya’s initial second-half foray into Australian territory did not end with points. Nevertheless, the next points were for Kenya as Willy Ambaka scored in the left corner. Agero nailed the tough conversion to tie it up.
When the hooter sounded, it ws Australia holding the ball. But a matter of seconds later saw a penalty against Australia put the ball in the hands of the men in red and white. Neither team was able to add a score before entering into added extra time.
In added extra time, it took 1:12 for Australia to come out on top. The game winner came from the man who started it all: James Stannard. The conversion clanked off the post but did not matter at all. Australia advances to a date with New Zealand.