Perfect Lionesses book Japan in Challenger Series semis

Janet Okello

Janet Okello (right) of Kenya Lionesses in action against Argentina during their World Rugby Sevens Challenger Series quarter-final match at Estadio Santa Laura in Santiago, Chile on August 14, 2022.

Photo credit: Pool

What you need to know:

  • Kenya drowned Argentina with tries from Christabel Lindo (two), Japan-based Janet Okello and captain Judith Auma as Grace Okulu added two conversions
  • Okulu converted Lindo’s second try and Okello’s for 24-0 before Argentina grabbed their consolation try late in the game through Marta Reding converted by Sofia Gonzalez
  • The other semi-final pits Poland against China

Kenya Lionesses are two matches away from being a core team in the HSBC World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series 2023 after sweeping aside Argentina 24-7 in the quarter-final of World Rugby Sevens Challenger Series at Estadio Santa Laura in Santiago, Chile on Sunday.

Coach Dennis Mwanja’s charges, who will meet former core team Japan in the semi-final, defeated Argentina 17-7 as Japan mauled Belgium 31-0 in a one-sided quarter-final match.

Kenya drowned Argentina with tries from Christabel Lindo (two), Japan-based Janet Okello and captain Judith Auma as Grace Okulu added two conversions.

Lindo gave Kenya the lead on four minutes with an unconverted try before Okulu converted Auma’s try for a 12-0 half-time lead. Okulu converted Lindo’s second try and Okello’s for 24-0 before Argentina grabbed their consolation try late in the game through Marta Reding converted by Sofia Gonzalez.

On their way to the semi-final, the Lionesses mauled China 17-15, South Africa 31-5 and Chile 15-5 in Pool “D”. Japan thrashed Mexico 44-5, Colombia 21-12 and Kazakhstan 26-5 in Pool “F” before whipping Belgium 31-0 in quarter-final.

The other semi-final pits Poland against China. Poland outwitted Argentina 36-5, Papua New Guinea 71-0 and Belgium 36-12 in Pool “E” before beating Colombia 36-0 in the quarter-final. China lost 15-17 to Kenya and then floored Chile 36-0 and South Africa 17-7 at group stage before seeing off Kazakhstan 21-7 in the quarter-final.

The winner of the 12-team competition will join Australia, Brazil, Canada, Fiji, France, Great Britain, Ireland, New Zealand, Spain and the United States in the World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series 2023 which kicks off in Dubai on December 2 to 3 this year. 

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