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By Joel Masibo 

The Kenya women’s rugby sevens team inched closer to an Olympic qualification but narrowly missed out as the battling Lionesses fell 12-7 to South Africa in the final of the Rugby Africa Women’s 7s held in Monastir, Tunisia on Sunday.

The final match was intensely competitive, with both teams locked in a fierce battle during the first half. Scoring opportunities were rare, and South Africa managed to score an unconverted try through Nadine Roos just before halftime, leading 5-0 at the break.

In the second half, the Lionesses launched a spirited comeback, with Sharon Auma making a remarkable break past two defenders to score, and captain Grace Okulu successfully converting, giving the Lionesses a 7-5 lead.

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However, with little time remaining, South Africa scored a converted try from Maria Tshiremba, securing the victory and their qualification for the 2024 Olympics in Paris, France. The Kenya Lionesses will now turn their attention to next year’s repechage, where they’ll have another opportunity to secure the final qualification spot for Paris.

SA – Tries: Nadine Roos, Maria Tshiremba. Conversion: Roos.

Kenya – Try: Sharon Auma. Conversion: Grace Okulu.

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