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Kenya exited the USA Sevens with a 26-21 sudden death loss to Australia in a closely contested fifth place semifinal encounter at the Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas on Sunday night. The result saw Shujaa finish the tournament with 10 points, taking their points tally to 45 as they stayed eighth on the log ahead of next weekend’s sixth round of the HSBC Sevens World Series in Vancouver, Canada.

The Aussies were off to a flying start, James Stannard scoring and converting for a 7-0 lead but Shujaa responded  when  Jeff Oluoch showed great skill and vision to slice through the Australian defense and touch down. Eden Agero converted to level the score.

Australia’s John Porch and Shujaa’s Billy Odhiambo traded converted tries to see the teams tied 14-14 at the interval.

Off the restart, Australia put together four switches before Tom Connor floated the ball  wide. One more pop found Lachie Anderson and  trusted his pace to fly in. Tom Lucas added the conversion for a 21-14 lead.

Both teams asked questions of each other and after several passages of end to end play, Kenya’s Willy Ambaka delivered no less than three hand-offs in a row, two huge ones on Lachie Anderson to create his route to the try-line.

Agero’s excellent conversion meant that the game locked at 21-21 going into the final minute.

Referee Paolo Duarte soon blew for full time.

Kenya’s restart failed to go the full ten metres,allowing Australia  to launch their set-piece platform off the centre spot.

Tom Lucas came within inches of the line but he was held up. Stannard would power over after the excellent work of Jeral Skelton,securing the result and setting up a date against New Zealand in the fifth place final.

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