There is no respite for Kenya Sevens as the 1016/2017 World Rugby Sevens World Series ends in London this weekend.
The East Africans who are currently placed 12th have been drawn in Pool A with South Africa who dethroned Fiji as the new champions by winning Paris Sevens.
Other teams in the Pool are USA and Wales. USA is coached by Mike Friday, a former Kenya coach.
Kenya are bruised and wounded and could be without the services of ‘Webuye Express’ Frank Wanyama who sustained a shoulder injury in Paris.
Andrew Amonde, the Kenya Sevens captain hinted there are injuries in the Kenya camp which were being monitored.
“It is true, we have injuries. The players may recover by the weekend but I don’t think they will be in a position to play at their best. One replacement might be made,” Amonde said from Paris.
Sports News Arena established that besides Wanyama, Brian Tanga, Sam Oliech, Nelson Oyoo and Billy Odhiambo are also injured. Already, Cyprian Kuto is expected to leave for London today.
In Paris, Kenya shot themselves in the foot when delayed visa processing saw the team travel in two batches.
“It was hard to prepare well. We could not push the players who arrived late but ask them to do their best because we could have ended up picking unnecessary injuries.”
Looking ahead, Amonde did not mince his words saying the London Sevens Pool is hard. “In Paris, we could have done better. It is hard to summarize the performance. It’s what we got,” the captain stated.
Kenya finished third in Pool C and drew Argentina in the Challenge Trophy quarter final which they lost 7-12.
In the play-off for the 13th place, Kenya were beaten by Russia.
Paris Sevens unpredictable
Paris Sevens was one of the most unpredictable especially after Samoa upset Fiji in the opening match.
Scotland continued their giant-killing instincts by beating Fiji 24-0 in the cup quarter final and England in the semis before falling to South Africa whom they beat on the opening day.
After winning the final, South Africa players barely showed any fatigue as they sang and danced after the presentation of the gold medal and the overall trophy.
Philip Snyman who scored one of the tries in the final explained the team worked hard the whole season.
“The strike rate was phenomenal. They deserve this. They worked hard for one another,” the captain explained. Werner Kok, a physical and constant menace to any opponent was named the final’s MVP.
Just for the records, South Africa played in eight of the nine finals, a total of 45 games and lost eight times. New Zealand won the bronze by beating England.
London Sevens Pools
Pool A: South Africa, USA, Wales, Kenya; Pool B: Scotland, France, Argentina, Russia; Pool C: New Zealand, Fiji, Canada, Japan; Pool D: England, Samoa, Australia, Spain.
Day two results
Cup quarters: Scotland 24 Fiji 0, England 26 USA 12, Samoa 0 South Africa 12, New Zealand 14 France 0; Semi-finals: Scotland 19 England 17, South Africa 26 New Zealand 5; Final: Scotland 5 South Africa 15.
Third/Fourth Place play-off: England 5 New Zealand 12.
Fifth/Sixth Place play-off semis: Fiji 14 USA 24, Samoa 21 France 19; Final: USA 24 Samoa 19.
Trophy Challenge: Canada 33 Russia 0, Kenya 7 Argentina 12, Australia 28 Japan 19, Wales 26 Spain 14; Semi-finals: Canada 14 Argentina 15, Australia 14 Wales 12; Final: Argentina 33 Australia 12.
13th Place semi-final: Russia 15 Kenya 7, Japan 26 Spain 19; Final: Russia 10 Japan 19.
Overall standing after Paris Sevens: South Africa 179, England 145, Fiji 142, New Zealand 127, USA 114, Australia 101, Scotland 87, Canada 81, Argentina 80, Wales 66, France 61, Kenya 58, Samoa 48, Russia 27, Japan 19, Chile 6.