Leading 12-5 at the break, Kenya scored two second half tries to register their maiden win over South Africa, a result that saw them confirm first place in Pool A with quarterfinal qualification secured in the previous round. They will now face Argentina at 6.36am on Friday morning.
It was South Africa who asked questions of the Kenyans early on but former basketballer Sinaida Aura left her defender for dead, racing clear for the game’s opening try. Janet Owino missed the conversion as Kenya led 5-0.
The African champions soon responded with an unconverted try before Janet Okello received the ball deep in her half and flat footed the South Africans, racing clear to see Kenya retake the lead, Doreen Remour converting to give the Lionesses a 12-5 lead at the break.
A patient build up after the restart found Aura with the narrowest of room to operate in but she used her electric pace to sprint clear to score under the posts, the converted try putting the Lionesses 19-5 up. Okello killed off the game as a contest with her try that took the score to 24-5 before the South Africans landed a late consolation try.
Cup quarterfinal qualification had been secured with a game to spare in pool play at the Women’s Sevens World Series qualifiers in Hong Kong with a 42-0 win over Mexico.
Back to the match and it was the Mexicans who held their own for all of three minutes until Janet Okello followed through on her kick to land a converted try for a 7-0 lead. This opened up the floodgates as they added two converted tries from Celestine Masinde and Sheila Chajira to take a 21-0 lead into the interval.
Mexico would offer feeble resistance after the restart, soon losing possession as the Kenyans forced a turnover that eventually saw Doreen Remour go over, Janet Owino sure with her fourth conversion for a 28-0 score. Masinde and Chajira completed their braces to seal the result.
The team had earlier began their campaign with a 17-5 win over Papua New Guinea in Hong Kong on Thursday morning.
It was the Kenyans who settled down first after both teams started the encounter rather cautiously, finding themselves in possession before Doreen Renour set up Sheila Chajira for a try under the sticks. Janet Owino converted for a 7- 0 lead that they took into half time.
Papua New Guinea responded with an unconverted try after the break but were soon down to six players after losing a player to the sin bin for a high tackle. Two tries from Remour and captain Philadelphia Olando secured the result for Kevin Wambua’s charges.