Kenya rise one place to 8th - Daily Nation
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Kenya rise one place to 8th after Hamilton 7s exploits

Sunday February 4 2018

Samuel Oliech of Kenya (top) competes for the ball with Tavite Veredamu of France (centre) as Willy Ambaka of Kenya looks on during the Sydney World Rugby Sevens Series tournament in Sydney on January 27, 2018. PHOTO | MARK EVANS |

Samuel Oliech of Kenya (top) competes for the ball with Tavite Veredamu of France (centre) as Willy Ambaka of Kenya looks on during the Sydney World Rugby Sevens Series tournament in Sydney on January 27, 2018. PHOTO | MARK EVANS |  AFP

By AYUMBA AYODI
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Kenya moved up one place to eighth in the World Rugby Seven Series when they collected 12 points in Hamilton over the weekend for a total of 35 points.

The team finished in sixth place at the fourth leg of the Series after losing to Samoa 19-15 in the Fifth Place final at the FMG Stadium Waikato.

Magical Fiji edged out reigning Series champions South Africa 24-17 in a pulsating final for their leg win this season.

Australia, who were fresh from winning Sydney Seven, had to settle for bronze after beating Cape Town Sevens champions New Zealand 8-7 in third place play-off.

It was so by far the best performance this season for Kenya, who had blown hot and cold, finishing seventh in Dubai, 13th in Cape Town, seventh again in Sydney before their sixth placing in Hamilton.

Kenya reached their third Cup quarterfinal in Hamilton but lost to Sydney Sevens champions Australia 33-12 before dropping to the fifth place semi-finals. In Hamilton, Kenya stormed past Scotland 33-19 after trailing 14-0 with stand in skipper Oscar Ouma’s brace firing up the come-back.

Jack Cuthbert and Scott Riddell’s tries gave Scotland a 14-0 lead before Ouma and Eric Ombasa’s tries replied for Kenya and Eden Agero and Augustine Lugonzo converted respectively to level matters 14-14 at the break. 

Ouma plundered his double with a fine finish. He was soon after sin binned but Jeffrey Oluoch, thought nothing of this, landing over to stretch Kenya’s lead to 24-14.

William Ambaka’s try stretched Kenya's lead to 33-14 and they safely held on despite conceding a late try.

Kenya also trailed 19-0 against Samoa whom they had beaten earlier in the pool stage in the Fifth Place final play-off.

A brace of tries from Neria Fomai and one by Tom Iosefo, in addition to Tila Mealoi’s two tries put Samoa ahead 19-0.

Agero’s try just before the break gave the Kenyans a glimpse of hope as they exploded with two tries from Samuel Ngethe and Arthur Owira.

Missed conversions by Samuel Oliech and Agero would cost Kenya as their rally proved short against Samoans, who had a brilliant start.

In the Cup final, Fiji had to come back from 17-5 down at half-time. Three of their four tries were scored by the Player of the Final the electrical Alasio Sovita Naduva with Eroni Sau delivering the fourth.

Fiji beat New Zealand 14-12 while South Africa edged out Australia 24-5 in their Cup semi-finals.  

The bronze medal battle ended in a dramatic fashion, with Australia captain James Stannard’s penalty after the final siren proving the match-winner.