Kenya Sevens sink closer to relegation

Monday March 11 2019

Fiji’s Jerry Tuwai (left) tackles Kenya’s Johnstone Olindi as he scores a try during World Rugby Sevens Series action, in Vancouver, BC, on March 9, 2019. PHOTO | DON MACKINNON |

Fiji’s Jerry Tuwai (left) tackles Kenya’s Johnstone Olindi as he scores a try during World Rugby Sevens Series action, in Vancouver, BC, on March 9, 2019. PHOTO | DON MACKINNON |  AFP

AYUMBA AYODI
By AYUMBA AYODI
More by this Author

Kenya Sevens are now one place to relegation after they picked one point from Canada Sevens to drop a place to 13th in the 2018/2019 World Rugby Sevens Series standings last weekend.

From the six events so far, Kenya Sevens have collected only 18 points, having failed to reach the Cup quarterfinals in all. They have also failed to win a match at pool stages in four legs now in Dubai, Cape Town, Sydney and Canada.

Kenya’s whose best run this season is the Challenge Trophy final performance in Hamilton, where they lost to England, are now four point off relegation zone.

Wales collected five points for reaching the Challenge Cup semi-finals in Canada, a feat that saw them swap places with Kenya, moving to 12th though they tie with Kenya on 18 points each.

Japan, who are now in 15th place and relegation zone, also look threatening after they collected two points from Canada to zero in on Kenya with 14 points.

The situation looks perilous for Kenya Sevens since any further slip up would spell doom for the team in the Series that head for the seventh and eighth legs in Hong Kong and Singapore in April respectively.

Interestingly, its Japan who dumped out Kenya 22-14 in the semi-final for the 13th place, even though Japan went on to lose to Spain 15-10 in the final.

Wales lost to Australia 33-22 in Challenge Trophy semi-final as the Thunderbolts going on to edge out Canada 35-21 in Challenge Trophy final.

This season marks the first time Shujaa failed to win a match in the pool stage since 2014/2015 season at the Dubai, South Africa and Hong Kong Sevens.

It’s also the team worst ever run since the Paris 7s leg of the 2016/2017 World Rugby Sevens Series, where they collected one point after losing in the semi-final for 13th place.

It’s South Africa, who claimed their first tournament victory since Paris last season by beating France 21-12 in the final in Vancouver.

Reigning Canada Sevens champions Fiji were simply too skilful for USA to seal third, completing a 24-14 victory in the bronze final Final as New Zealand finished outside the top four for the first time this season but confirmed fifth place with a 26-19 victory over England.

USA, who failed to reach the Cup final for the first time stretched their Series lead to 113 points, seven better than New Zealand in second place. Fiji are third with 101 followed by South Africa with 89 points.

England close the top five vanguard with 80 points after losing to New Zealand in the fifth place final.

Advertisement