Brave Kenya take silver at World Rugby Sevens in Canada
Monday March 12 2018
Brave Kenya Sevens settled for silver and 19 points for the World Rugby Sevens Series when they gallantly lost to Fiji 32-12 in the main Cup final of Canada Sevens at BC Place in Vancouver on Monday morning.
Tries from William Ambaka and Samuel Oliech might failed to spur Kenya to their second ever Cup victory in the Series but reaching the final exceeded their expectations.
The two teams were meeting for the second time in the final, marking their 37th meeting in the Series.
However, it is the Olympic champions who extended their dominance with their 34th win over the Kenyans as they became the only team to win two events this season.
Fiji won the New Zealand Sevens where they beat Dubai Sevens champions South Africa 24-17 in the final.
Fiji and Kenya met the last time in the final during Singapore Sevens in 2016 where Kenya claimed its maiden victory, beating the Fijians 30-7.
It was the Fijians this time around to slay the Kenyans whom they had earlier beaten 24-21 in the pool stage at Canada Sevens.
South Africa, who are the Series leaders and defending champions, beat USA Sevens champions, United States, 29-7 in the play-off to win bronze in Vancouver.
That results saw Kenya stay in eighth place in the series but with an improved tally of 64 points, which saw them pile pressure on seventh-placed England with 70 points.
England, who were beaten by Kenya in the Cup quarterfinal 12-0, collected 13 points after beating Australia 31-14 in the fifth place final.
Fiji collected 22 points to topple South Africa Sevens champions, New Zealand, from the second place with 101 points.
New Zealand, who lost in the semifinals for the fifth place to take 10 points in Canada, slumped to third with 92 points.
South Africa stayed at the top with an improved tally of 109 points.
Cheered by 75,000 fans at the BC Place, it is Kenya who drew first blood when Nelson Oyoo won a turnover for a good exchange with Billy Odhiambo.
Odhiambo chalked an overhead pass to Ambaka, who had the time to inject pace and surge to score before Oliech added the extras to lead 7-0.
The Fijians responded well with their captain Eroni Sau putting Josua Wakurunabili through to score.
Valemo Ravouvou added the extras to level 7-7.
The Kenyans recycled the ball well for 20 passes against Fiji's four.
Collins Injera, who was making his 75th appearance in the Series, made a switch to lay Oliech, who fended off some tackles to score.
He missed to convert as Kenya led 12-7.
A restart error would cost the napping Kenya when Sevuloni Mocenacagi latched on the loose ball before pacing on the flank to score.
Ravouvou missed the conversion but level 12-12 at the break.
The Fijians were suave and too powerful with the ball on resumption as Mocenacagi and Alasio Nanduva landed with Ravouvou converted both to lead 26-12.
They would win a penalty to kick for touch before Paula Dranisinukula sneaked on the short side to score their fifth and last try.
It was a smart and professional performance from both sides as they now turn their focus on Gold Coast Commonwealth Games due April 4-15 in Australia.