Kenya 7s remain eighth, Fiji take Cup honours
Kenya national rugby sevens team remains eighth in the HSBC World Sevens Series standings after their run at the USA 7s in Nevada, Las Vegas was ended by Japan in the Shield semi finals with a 14-19 defeat on Sunday night.
Coming from the high of stunning New Zealand 22-0 on Saturday night to top Pool A, Benjamin Ayimba’s boys lost the Main Cup quarters to USA before falling to Japan in the Plate last four to earn 10 points in Vegas.
Kenya will face Samoa, Las Vegas champions Fiji and Portugal in Pool A while Australia, runners-up for a second successive tournament, meet Wales, Russia and hosts Canada in Pool B of the Vancouver 7s next weekend.
Against Japan, Willy Ambaka drew first blood for Kenya with his show-and-go and wicked turn of pace piercing the Japanese defence.
The Africans’ joy was short-lived though as Kazuhiro Goya found an instant response by running in from halfway while Kenya are down to six following a yellow card to Dennis Ombachi for a deliberate knock down.
But Japan still had plenty of air in the lungs and a brilliant around-the-back offload from Yoshitaka Tokunaga set up Ryuta Yusui for his maiden try with Kenya looking a pale shadow of the side that defeated New Zealand on day two.
However, veteran Humphrey Kayange, as he has done so often in the past, was up in support to take a scoring pass and pull Kenya level with Adema’s conversion putting Shujaa up by two.
Shohei Toyoshima then produced a superb finish after good work in the build-up from Lomano Lemeki and Lote Tuqiri to win it for the Asian champions but Japan then fell to New Zealand in the subsequent final, going down 7-27 to the wounded All Blacks who beat Argentina in the other semi.
In the Main Cup, Fiji came from 15-0 behind at half-time to successfully defend their HSBC USA Sevens Cup title in sensational fashion, beating Australia 21-15 in round five of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series.
-Fiji open lead-
Having not won since the opening tournament in Dubai, two tries from Kitione Taliga and one from Savenaca Rawaca plus three crucial conversions from Vatemo Ravouvou proved the difference in front of 25,981 on a windy day in Las Vegas with the players dedicating the win to those back home.
In a pulsating final Sam Myers begun proceedings before captain Ed Jenkins and Cameron Clark took their lead to 15-0 at half-time, but three missed conversions proved costly for the Australians who finished runners-up for a second successive tournament.
Fiji are five points clear at the top with Kenya tied on 52 points with England in seventh ahead of next weekend’s sixth round in Vancouver, Canada.
Report compiled from World Rugby
For Citizen TV updates
Join @citizentvke Telegram channel
Video Of The Day: CAS Rachel Shebesh and athlete Asbel Kiprop share their mental health journeys