Kenya Sevens finish 10th in Hamilton

Vuiviwa Naduvalo

Fiji’s Vuiviwa Naduvalo is tackled during the mens match between Fiji and Kenya during day one of the World Rugby Sevens series at FMG Stadium in Hamilton on January 21, 2023.
 

Photo credit: Michael Bradley | AFP

What you need to know:

  • Argentina rallied from 12-0 down to beat hosts New Zealand 14-12 in the Cup final as USA took bronze after edging out France 15-15.
  • New Zealand, who have a bronze and two silvers from four events, lead the World Rugby Sevens Series standings on 63 points with USA second on 61 points and Argentina third on 59 points.

Kenya Sevens Sunday collected seven points after finishing 10th at Hamilton Sevens- their best performance so far at the ongoing 2022/2023 World Rugby Sevens Series.

Shujaa lost to Cape Town Sevens champions Samoa 26-5 in the Challenge Trophy final at the Waikato Stadium in New Zealand. 

Alvin “Buffa” Otieno put Kenya ahead with a try, but Vaa Apelu Maliko's brace of tries put Samoa 12-5 ahead at the break before further tries by Motu Opetai and Owen Niue put away the duel.

It was the second time Kenya was losing to Samoa after they went down 31-5 in the pool stage on Saturday.

The performance by Shujaa, who collected one point in Hong Kong, five points in Dubai and three points in Cape Town, saw them scale one place to 13th with a total 16 points, similar to Spain, who are 12th after finishing 13th in Hamilton.

Shujas had stopped Canada 21-7 in the Challenge Trophy quarter-final before blowing away Tonga 33-19 in the semi-final.

Edmund Anya’s try that Anthony Omondi converted gave Kenya the 7-5 lead at the break with Brock Webster giving the Canadians their points. Then Willy “Lomu” Ambaka and George Ooro Angeyo would land to put Kenya in the semi-finals.

They led Tonga 19-7 in the semi-final cracker. Skipper Nelson Oyoo led the charge to score two tries as Otieno, Anya and Ooro landed a try each. Omondi made four conversions.

The race is now on for Shujaa to avoid being relegated as they head into Sydney Sevens, the fifth of the 11-legged Series this weekend in Australia.

Twelve teams will be retained for the new season. The 15th ranked team will be relegated at the penultimate leg in Toulouse, France, while the 12th, 13th and 14th placed teams will engage in a Challenger in the final leg in London with the winner staying for the new season.

Kenya’s participation at 2024 Paris Olympics could be in jeopardy if South Africa fails to finish in top four at the end of the Series since the two continental protagonists could meet in the Olympic continental qualifier.

Argentina rallied from 12-0 down to beat hosts New Zealand 14-12 in the Cup final as USA took bronze after edging out France 15-15.

New Zealand, who have a bronze and two silvers from four events, lead the World Rugby Sevens Series standings on 63 points with USA second on 61 points and Argentina third on 59 points.

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