What you need to know:
- China are top with 20 points followed by the Lionesses with 18 points. The top four teams in the Challenger Series that has three legs will face off with the bottom four teams after the 2023/2024 World Series.
- The top four teams in the play-off will stay for the 2024/2025 World Rugby Sevens Series.
Kenya Sevens have won the first leg of the 2024 World Rugby Sevens Challenger Series. Shujaa withstood a battle of nerves to lead 7-5 at the break before beating a determined Chile 12-5 in the final at the Sevens Stadium in Dubai on Sunday.
Newbie Patrick Odongo’s brace of tries and Anthony Omondi's conversion are what made the difference as Kenya took an early lead in the series that has three legs with 20 points.
However, Kenya Lionesses were not so lucky after they lost to China 19-5 in the 2024 Women’s World Rugby Sevens Challenger Series final at the same venue.
China are top with 20 points followed by the Lionesses with 18 points. The top four teams in the Challenger Series that has three legs will face off with the bottom four teams after the 2023/2024 World Series.
The top four teams in the play-off will stay for the 2024/2025 World Rugby Sevens Series.
Shujaa went on the offensive but a brilliant chip pass from John Odongo laid the leeway for Odongo, who silenced through to score behind the post. Odongo added the extras.
Some wild passing and knock-ons interrupted the flow from Shujaa with the Chileans taking advantage to strike back with an uncovered try from Benjamin Videla as the South Americans trailed 7-5 at the break.
Nygel Amaitsa chalked a brilliant chip to the right as Odongo broke through the defense to score his 11th try of the series at the far corner. OMondi missed the conversion but Shujaa had done enough to put away the final.
Uruguay beat Germany 12-7 to finish third as the teams collected 14 and 12 points each in the series that has 12 teams.
Birthday girl Yan Meiling beat Kenyan markers with her sprightly legs on the wing to score behind the posts as Chen Keyi converted. China led 7-0 before Dou Xinrong’s try and Gu Yaoyao's conversion gave them a first half’s 14-0 lead.
Sharon Auma’s try failed to tame the Chinese as Keyi sealed their victory with a try. Argentina beat Uganda 36-10 to win the third-place play-off in the women’s contest.
From Dubai, both the men's and women’s series will head to Montevideo, Uruguay on March 8-10. However, the third and final leg of the men’s series will be staged in Munich, Germany on May 18-19, while the women's series will conclude in Henryka Reymana, Poland on May 18-19.