Shujaa Wait For Cup Quarters Continues: Kenya 7s Slump To Challenge Trophy

Mar 10 - by Mutwiri Mutuota for SportPesa News

Australia are the next opponents for Paul Murunga's side, New Zealand survive scare to make Vancouver 7s last eight

Canada's Phil Berna dives in a try against Kenya on day one of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series in Vancouver on 9 March, 2019. Photo credit: Mike Lee - KLC fotos for World Rugby

  • Shujaa, who are languishing in 13th in the standings on 17 points after five legs of the series will once again battle for the scraps after losing all three of their Pool B games
  • A brace from Cyprian Kuto and a third try from Daniel Taabu could not inspire Kenya to end their Pool B run on a high as defeat set a date against Australia in the Challenge quarters at 7:52pm EAT (+3GMT)
  • In the day’s other surprise, reigning Canadian champions Fiji were downed by the hosts 26-19. Matt Mullins and Connor Braid helped put Canada 12-0 ahead before Terio Veilawa and Sevuloni Mocenacagi drew Fiji level

NAIROBI, Kenya- The wait for a first Main Cup quarter final showing for national team Shujaa will spill over to the next leg of the 2018/19 HSBC World Series after Kenya were relegated to the Challenge Trophy in Vancouver earlier Sunday.

Shujaa, who are languishing in 13th in the standings on 17 points after five legs of the series will once again battle for the scraps after losing all three of their Pool B games.

The last a 21-36 reverse to Canada in their most improved performance having surrendered to handsome 12-36 and 12-35 defeats to tournament champions Fiji and Samoa who surprisingly topped the group in that order.

A brace from Cyprian Kuto and a third try from Daniel Taabu could not inspire Kenya to end their Pool B run on a high as defeat set a date against Australia in the Challenge quarters at 7:52pm EAT (+3GMT). 

Spain produced the surprise of the day by beating New Zealand for the first time in their history but the All Blacks Sevens still reached the Cup quarter-finals at Spain’s expense in Vancouver.

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New Zealand had led 12-0 through Joe Ravouvou and Andrew Knewstubb but Spain hit back, Ignacio Rodriguez-Guerra doing down in the corner before captain Francisco Hernandez put his side ahead at the break.

Joan Losada’s try was cancelled out by Ravouvou and Sam Dickson, but after the hooter, Losada broke down the left wing and found Pol Pla on the inside to seal a famous victory.

New Zealand, having earlier cruised past France 45-7 with seven tries all scored by different players, needed to beat Australia to reach the Cup quarter-finals.

Ravouvou’s pair of tries either side of half-time alongside scores from Dickson, Tim Mikkelson, Ngarohi McGarvey-Black and Vilimoni Koroi ensured their spot in a 36-12 win, topping Pool C in the process.

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World Series leaders USA must settle for second in Pool A after losing the day’s final match to South Africa.

JC Pretorius scored two tries with Stedman Gans’ score in between times proving their dominance and setting up a Cup quarter-final with Argentina.

USA had most of possession but South Africa’s imperious defence ensured they conceded just one try, Steve Tomasin going over in the second half.

The Blitzbokke cruised past Chile with Pretorius, Siviwe Soyizwapi and Selvyn Davids all scoring two tries each.

They fell behind to Wales after just a minute but captain Philip Snyman, Davids and Pretorius all hit back to beat the British side. USA had found it easier going against Wales with Carlin Isles scoring a hat-trick in a six-try victory.

Fought admirably

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Invitational side Chile fought admirably against USA (19-33) and Wales (12-19) but finished bottom of Pool A with three defeats.

The South American champions led their North American counterparts 19-7 at half-time, Benjamin De Vidts twice beating speedster Isles on the outside with Rodrigo Fernandez also crossing the whitewash. But Isles hit back with a double of his own as USA emerged victorious.

It was a day of upsets at a sold-out BC Place. Earlier, France had come from behind to take down Australia.

Kenya team huddle before the game against Canada on day one of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series in Vancouver on 9 March, 2019. PHOTO/Mike Lee/KLC fotos for World Rugby


Henry Hutchison put Australia ahead before Les Blues missed two opportunities to score, with Samuel Alerte dropping the ball on the try line and Stephen Parez being set through with a forward pass. But Pierre Gilles Lakafia, Pierre Mignot and Remi Siega all dotted down to claim victory.

France joined New Zealand in the Cup quarter-finals with a 26-10 win against Spain, consigning their fellow Europeans to the Challenge Trophy.

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In the day’s other surprise, reigning Canadian champions Fiji were downed by the hosts 26-19. Matt Mullins and Connor Braid helped put Canada 12-0 ahead before Terio Veilawa and Sevuloni Mocenacagi drew Fiji level.

An exchange of tries took the score to 19-19 before Nathan Hirayama skipped through the defence and allowed Harry Jones to dot down and secure Canada’s fifth win over Fiji in 52 attempts.

Fiji needed to beat Samoa in their final match to reach the Cup quarter-finals, ultimately claiming a 31-17 win. Jerry Tuwai and Veilawa scored second-half tries to put the game out of Samoa’s reach, having earlier put six tries past Kenya. Their reward is a clash with New Zealand tomorrow.

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Their spot in the Cup quarter-finals came at the expense of Canada, who missed out with an inferior points difference. Connor Braid’s hat-trick helped them beat Kenya but the 36-21 scoreline wasn’t enough to earn a top-two place.

Samoa had earlier cruised past Canada, running in six tries as they downed the hosts 38-7. A pair of tries each for Joe Perez and Alamanda Motuga helped them breeze past Kenya as Samoa topped Pool C. They will play France in the fourth quarter-final tomorrow.

England topped Pool D with three wins from three, clinching a quarter-final against USA with a 33-14 win against Argentina. Tom Bowen scored the pick of England’s five tries, created by Harry Glover’s casual no-look offload out of the back of the hand to the wing. A 21-7 win against Scotland in the day’s opening match and Ryan Olowofela’s double against Japan set up England’s perfect record.

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Los Pumas Sevens join them in the quarter-finals, racking up nine tries against Japan and Scotland to set up the decider for top spot.

-Material from World Rugby used to compile this report


Wales' Ben Roach charges through the South Africa defense for a try on day one of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series in Vancouver on 9 March, 2019. PHOTO/Mike Lee/KLC fotos for World Rugby