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Kenya Sevens’ core status in IRB World Series at risk

The national Sevens team won the Shield and took three points from the Hong Kong Sevens but they are still in danger of relegation.

Kenya beat Japan 26-7 in the Shield final on Sunday but that counted for nothing as they stayed 12th with 32 points.

Canada, who beat Kenya 21-10 in the Bowl quarter-finals, are now level with Kenya on points. The two countries are now engaged in the survival battle with Portugal, who are 14th with 22 points.

The top 12 teams after the 2014/2015 World Rugby Sevens Series will retain their core status with the next three engaging in a play-off. The play-off winner will remain in the Series.

Generally, Kenya’s defensive tactics and decision making came to question as the team failed to tackle and gave out possession easily against their opponents.

Unnecessary contact play was also Kenya’s main undoing with Dan Sikuta and Billy Odhiambo guilty of being too physical instead of playing for space.

Such poor tactics led to defeats in their Pool D matches against England (7-17), Wales (12-18) and USA (14-21).

However, the team played well against Japan. A try from Collins Injera, which made him the all-time leading try scorer in Hong Kong on 26, a brace from Billy Odhiambo and a late score by Leonard Mugaisi put Kenya on the ascendency.

SHIELD SUCCESS

Captain Andrew Amonde hopes to build on Shield success next weekend in Tokyo where they have been pooled with South Africa, USA and Canada.

“We needed a morale boosting victory and we are happy to win the Shield. It’s been a tough weekend for us but this will give us confidence ahead of Tokyo next weekend,” Amonde said.

Kenya scored three unanswered tries on their way to the Shield final with a 21-0 win over Portugal while Japan were too strong for Belgium whom they thrashed 42-7.

Portugal camped in the Kenyan 22 for the majority of the first two minutes but failed to make the territorial advantage count.

Injera would break the deadlock after a period of possession and crosses under the posts for a converted try and that’s the half, Kenya led 7-0 at the break.

Meanwhile, Fiji were outstanding in beating defending champions New Zealand 33-19 to clinch the Main Cup title.

The win puts them just two points behind overall series leaders South Africa (110) and one point ahead of third-placed New Zealand (107).

Australia (84) and England (78) round up the top five places as the race for Olympic qualification continues.

South Africa beat Samoa 26-5 in the play off for third place picking up 17 valuable point to maintain top spot in the standings.