Kenya 7s wrapped up their HSBC World Sevens Series 2018/19 season on a high after stretching hosts France in the fifth place semi final at the Stade Jean-Bouin Stadium before losing out 26-21 in sudden death on Sunday 2 June, 2019.
Kenya 7s led the tie 21-14 at the hooter and were seconds away from a win but a sin bin to former skipper Andrew Amonde and penalty within metres of the try line handed Les Blues the chance to tie it with a late try by Laugel and conversion by Barraque. Dall'igna's try in sudden death ended the nervy affair.
Nelson Oyoo delivered a brace of tries in between one by France - both converted by Mike Wanjala - to lead 14-7 at half time. One more by Cyprian Kuto with an extra by Wanjala had Kenya cruise to a 21-7 lead.
France buoyed by a raucous home crowd then began to claw back into the game with a Dall'igna try converted by Barraque to bring the scores to 21-14. The turning point came with Amonde's trip to the sin bin from where France took control of the game to book a place in the fifth place final where they will play the winner between Samoa and Argentina.
To face off, France lost 24-5 to Fiji in the Cup quarters as Kenya let go a 14-0 lead to fall 26-14 to Series chasing USA. Oyoo and Olindi tries - both converted by Wanjala had Kenya ahead. Steve Tomasin grounded one unconverted try for Kenya to lead 14-5 at half time. A Kevon Williams try and conversion, followed by a converted brace by Madison Hughes confirmed a place for the Eagles in the semis against Fiji.
Though denied by France on day two, Kenya's impressive performance followed on the one on Saturday where the team clawed Wales 26-21 in their final pool B game that, coupled with other results, confirmed their core status and a place in the main cup quarters for the first time this season after nine previous failed attempts.
Kenya ends the series with 37 points and in 13th place after adding ten more points to their previous tally.