Kenya climb up IRB table: Shujaa move a place higher on World Series ranking after round four

By Rodgers Eshitemi: Monday, February 5th 2018 at 00:09 GMT +3 | Rugby
RUGBYU-NZL-SEVENS Kenya's Jeffery Oluoch makes a break during the World Rugby Sevens Series match between Samoa and Kenya at Waikato Stadium in Hamilton on February 3, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / MICHAEL BRADLEY

National rugby Sevens team posts best performance this season by amassing 12 points in New Zealand.

Kenya garnered a massive 12 points from the Hamilton Sevens, the fourth round of the 2017-2018 HSBC Sevens World Series, after falling 19-15 to Samoa in the fifth-place final, yesterday.

This was Shujaa’s best performance this season as they have moved one place up (eighth) on the overall standings with 35 points after finishing sixth in New Zealand.

Fiji were crowned the champions after coming from behind to beat series leaders South Africa 24-17 in the Cup final.

It was sweet revenge for Samoa, who had lost 19-14 to Kenya in their Group D encounter on Saturday.

Innocent Simiyu’s charges finished the preliminary round unbeaten after edging out Canada by the same margin before holding the USA 19-19 to secure a top spot.

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However, their Cinderella run came to an abrupt halt following a 33-12 defeat to Sydney Sevens Champions Australia in the Cup quarter final.

Kenya conceded four tries in the opening six minutes with Dan Sikuta and Augustine Lugonzo scoring their only two tries in the second half.

The result saw Shujaa drop to the fifth place semifinals where they beat Scotland 33-19 to book a final berth with Samoa.

Samoa scored their three first half tries through Neria Fomai (2)and To Losefo before Eden Agero pulled one back for Shujaa.

Kenya continued with their comeback mission with youthful duo of Arthur Owira and Samuel Ngethe grounding a try each, but the two missed conversions allowed Samoa to finish fifth.

Focus now shifts to next month’s (March 2-4) fifth round in Las Vegas, USA, followed by the Vancouver Sevens (March 10-11) in Canada.

Meanwhile, Kenya Commercial Bank opened up a five point at the top of the Kenya Cup after trouncing visiting Nondescripts 28-6, in round eight matches of the season in Ruaraka, on Saturday.

Prop forwards Curtis Lilako, Brian Nyikuli, Oliver Mang’eni and Peter Karina scored a converted try each to extend the bankers’ unbeaten run to eight matches (39 points).

Curtis Olago’s men remains the only team unbeaten in the league this season following Kabras Sugar’s 30-12 defeat to visiting Homeboyz in Kakamega.

The victory saw the Deejays take their points tally to 34 and leapfrog the millers (33) into the second spot ahead of this weekend’s ninth round of the season.

Bottom-rooted Kisii also registered their first win of the campaign after upsetting visiting Mwamba 18-12 as Kenya Harlequin humiliated Regional Logistics Mombasa 80-0 at the RFUEA.