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Quantum leap: Kenya move to seventh place in IRB ranking after Hong Kong campaign

RUGBY By -BS MULAVI | March 24th 2014

BY BS  MULAVI

Fiji’s Donasio Ratubuli Naturaga (right) runs for a try against Kenya during their Tokyo Sevens 2014 Cup quarter-final match, part of the Rugby Sevens World Series, in Tokyo yesterday. [PHOTO:AFP]

The Kenya National Sevens team finished their Hong Kong campaign with ten points after reaching the Plate semi-finals.

The side lost 43-19 to eventual cup winners Fiji in the Main Cup quarter-finals; a result that saw them relegated to the Plate semis where they lost 36-0 to Australia.

The two results meant Kenya went through the second day without a victory and having conceded 79 points to two teams.

Kenya will, however, feel hard done by the large score by Fiji, in a game that seemed evenly contested in the first half, only for the floodgates to open in the second half. It was however a different story in their game against Australia, where Kenya seemed fatigued and failed to make their mark in the game.

Not only did Kenya concede a lot of points against Australia, but they also looked casual in their play, which was a pale shadow of the fighting spirit they displayed on the first day.

Torrd display

Kenya are currently ranked seventh in the IRB Sevens standings with 57 points, two points shy of sixth placed Samoa who had a torrid display in the tournament.

The East Africans will now be hoping to follow up their performance with a better display in Hong Kong next weekend where they have been pooled alongside Fiji, Wales and Sri Lanka in Pool A.

Meanwhile Fiji scored five tries in the Cup Finals at the Prince Chichibu Memorial Ground, beating South Africa 33-26 in round six of the HSBC Sevens World Series.

Eirgth try

Whereas Greg Jeloudev scored his eighth try of the weekend Australia beat the USA 17-12 to win a second successive Plate on the HSBC Sevens World Series.

Iolo Evans scored a match-winning try as he completed a hat-trick to give Wales a 28-21 victory against Scotland in the final of the Bowl.

Martin Rodriguez scored nine points as Los Pumas ended a disappointing Tokyo Sevens with some silverware, beating Samoa 26-0 in the Shield final.

It was only the third time Samoa have competed in the Shield in the history of the World Series and both sides will want to forget this weekend ahead of the Hong Kong Sevens next week.

South Africa now lead the series with 116 points, ahead of the defending champions New Zealand who are on second place with 114 points. Ben Ryan’s Fiji sit third (95), a further 19 points behind, with England on 85 points heading into round seven next weekend.

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