Australia seeks redemption in Paris Plate final

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Australia will play South Africa in the Paris Plate final, after beating Kenya 26-7 in the semi.

A heartbreaking loss to Fiji earlier in the day  sent  them out of the Cup competition, but the Aussies showed they were keen to rebound with an energetic performance against the Kenyans

A first-half double to Con Foley gave Australia an early lead  with an Ed Jenkins runaway effort blowing the margin to 21 points just before half-time.

Foley has been one of the Aussies’ best in the French tournament and was once again a standout in the semi as Australia opened up an early buffer.

Kenya responded immediately after the break, with a try to Billy Odhiambo in the eighth minute, but Australia remained in control.

Speedster Henry Hutchison sealed the game with a try in the 13th minute, and Tom Kingston went a whisker short of another before the clock ran down.

In a weekend of upsets, many of the leading World Series contenders found themselves in the Plate competition, with New Zealand and South Africa also relegated after Cup quarter-final losses.

The Plate final will give Australia a chance to redeem themselves after a mediocre showing against the Blitzbokke in the pool stages.

It’s the second straight tournament that the Australians have been knocked out of the top competition stream early, after a record four straight Cup semi-final appearances preceding that.

Australia meets South Africa at 1:13 am Monday morning (AEST) in a bid to finish in fifth spot.

Australia 26 

(Tries: Foley 2, Jenkins, Hutchison. Cons: Stannard 3)

Kenya 7

(Tries: Odhiambo Cons: Injera)