Kenya Sevens finish two places above relegation

By the punter
May 22, 2017
  • London has not been a good hunting ground for Kenya who finished 12th at the completion of the 2016/17 WRSWS season. (Photo Courtesy)

Kenya Sevens finished their 2016/17 World Rugby Sevens World Series with a 45-5 drubbing by Olympic champions Fiji.

Overall, Kenya finished 12th in a dull season fraught with administrative hiccups. This was five plaves below a seventh finish in the previous season. It was just two places above relegation!

In the just concluded season, Kenya reached only two cup quarter finals and won the newly introduced trophy challenge twice.

Kenya reached the Main Cup quarters in Cape Town and Singapore. They won the Trophy Challenge in Wellington and Las Vegas as well as reaching the Trophy final in Hong Kong.  

London has not been a good hunting ground for Kenya and this season was not different. In the opening match, Kenya put in a good performance against the new champions South Africa before being blown away by the USA.

Although Kenya recovered to beat Wales and Spain in the next two matches, Fiji had no favors in the Challenge Trophy semis.

When the team returns, there will be barely time to rest before they resume training for Dubai Sevens in a Rugby World Cup Sevens season which adds the spanner in the works.

Kenya is one of the teams that gained automatic qualification to the next RWC Sevens in San Francisco, USA next July.

Share of spoils and frills

London Sevens had its share of spoils and frills. Starting at the top, Scotland retained the title by beating hosts England.

A North Africa battle for supremacy saw Canada edge out USA in the bronze medal play off while South Africa finished fifth and Fiji survived a sustained pressure in the second half to win the Trophy Challenge.

The warning bells were sounded from the first match when Canada beat Fiji. USA borrowed a leaf from their North American neighbors by beating South Africa.

On the second day, Scotland knocked out New Zealand who went on to lose by a big margin to Australia.

The talking point though was whether Dan Norton scored a valid try against South Africa in the cup quarters. Scotland then denied USA their second final in London. 

Final standings: South Africa 192, England 164, Fiji 150, New Zealand 137, USA 129, Australia 113, Scotland 109, Canada 98, Argentina 90, Wales 73, France 66, Kenya 63, Samoa 51, Russia 29, Japan 20 

London Sevens results

Cup quarter finals: USA 31 Australia 14, New Zealand 21 Scotland 24, England 17 South Africa 12, Argentina 7 Canada 28; Semi-finals: USA 14 Scotland 21, England 24 Canada 5; Final: Scotland 12 England 7.

Play-off: USA 19 Canada 22. 

Fifth place semi-final: Australia 40 New Zealand 7, South Africa 24 Argentina 7; Final: Australia 17 South Africa 28.

Challenge Trophy quarter finals: Kenya 33 Spain 7, Fiji 31 Russia 5, Samoa 21 Wales 29,  France 22 Japan 5; Semi-finals: Kenya 5 Fiji 45, Wales 26 France 17; Final: Fiji 26 Wales 14.

13th place semi-final: Spain 5 Russia 38, Samoa 33 Japan 7; Final: Russia 19 Samoa 24. 

Pool A: South Africa, USA, Wales, Kenya; USA 12 Wales 28, South Africa 12 Kenya 10, USA 47 Kenya 0, South Africa 12 Wales 10, Wales 17 Kenya 28, South Africa 12 USA 24; Pool B: Scotland, France, Argentina, Russia; France 7 Argentina 35, Scotland 21 Russia 7, France 26 Russia 20, Scotland 26 Argentina 19, Argentina 26 Russia 19, Scotland 12 France 17;  Pool C: New Zealand, Fiji, Canada, Japan; Fiji 19 Canada 22, New Zealand 33 Japan 7, Fiji 61 Japan 5, New Zealand 19 Canada 14, Canada 28 Japan 14, New Zealand 27 Fiji 21; Pool D: England, Samoa, Australia, Spain; Samoa 5 Australia 34, England 28 Spain 7,  Samoa 40 Spain 7, England 19 Australia 12,  Australia 50 Spain 0, England 24 Samoa 19.