What you need to know:
- Kenya Sevens had beaten the United States 19-14 in the quarterfinal and Ireland 38-5 in the semifinal.
- It was sweet revenge for Kenya after they lost to the United States and Ireland 19-14 and 12-7 respectively at the group stage during the Tokyo Olympic Games. Kenya also lost to South Africa 14-5 in the same group.
Kenya Sevens will now have to work on new strategies to handle pressure after they lost to South Africa 38-5 in the main Cup final at Vancouver Sevens on Sunday night.
Head coach Innocent “Namcos” Simiyu noted that despite reaching the Cup final, his charges did not still execute their core skills and game plan well.
After pushing South Africa in the group stage before losing 33-14, Kenya failed to deal with the kick-off and good field position by the Blitzboks.
However, it was a big improvement for Kenya Sevens after they only reached one Cup quarterfinal in the 2019/2020 World Rugby Sevens Series that failed to end with only six legs being legs.
“Nevertheless, I am happy with the overall performance from the boys. We prepared well for our opponents with the boys generally rising to the occasion,” said Simiyu.
“We must go to the drawing board and see how we shall handle the big sides.”
Simiyu singled out kicker Taabu for his exceptional display. "His game management was good. I am happy with the newcomers in the team," said Simiyu.
It was the first all-African Cup final since 2008 Adelaide, and the second in the series' history.
The last time Kenya had reached the final was during the 2017/2018 World Sevens Series when Simiyu was the coach, but was later relieved of duty at the end of the season.
Interestingly, it was at the Vancouver Sevens and Hong Kong Sevens where they lost to Fiji 31-12 and 24-12 on both occasions.
But it has again taken Simiyu to have the team reach the Cup final after his predecessors Paul "Pau" Murunga and Paul Feeney fell short.
But will Kenya Sevens uphold the momentum?
Shujaa skipper Nelson Oyoo noted that the performance in Vancouver has given them confidence.
“This weekend, we started something solid and we aim to build on it,” said Oyoo.
Clinical South Africa, who had a strong contingent of Olympians in their squad, stormed to a 24-0 lead at the break, before blowing away the Kenyans.
Angelo Davids landed a brace of tries for the Blitzboks in the first half alongside Sakoyisa Makata and Ronald Brown, as Dewald Human and Ronald Brown managed a conversion each.
Then Christine Grobbelaar crossed the line with Human adding the extras to stretch their lead to 31-0, before Daniel Taabu's struck to reduce the deficit for Kenya at 31-5.
South Africa, the three times Series champions, gave their continental rivals no chance when Darren Adonis had the final word to convert his own try for victory.
South Africa had finished fourth during the 2019/2020 Vancouver Sevens.
Kenya Sevens had beaten the United States 19-14 in the quarterfinal and Ireland 38-5 in the semifinal.
It was sweet revenge for Kenya after they lost to the United States and Ireland 19-14 and 12-7 respectively at the group stage during the Tokyo Olympic Games. Kenya also lost to South Africa 14-5 in the same group.
But in Vancouver, South Africa stopped Spain 54-5 in the quarters and England 26-13 in the semis to set up Kenya again in the final.
The tournament in Vancouver had only three pools of four teams each after some of the core teams in the Series; New Zealand, Fiji, Australia, Argentina and Samoa withdrew owing to Covid-19 travelling restrictions.
The 2021 Series stay in Canada for the next leg of Edmonton Sevens this weekend.