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Kenya 'Sevens' in race to reach target at World rugby series

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenya’s hopes of reaching the 100 point mark in this season’ World Rugby Sevens Series looks bleak after reaching the halfway stage with a paltry 35 points.

Head coach Innocent Simiyu faces a rough ride in the remaining five legs starting with this weekend’s show in Vancouver, Canada where the country is paired in a tricky Pool A that has Vegas champions South Africa, Cape Town 7s champions England and a fourth team to be invited by World Rugby.

Captain Andrew Amonde was disappointed with the country performance last weekend in Las Vegas, USA but remained upbeat the team will improve in the remaining legs.

“It was bittersweet. We didn’t perform too well here but it’s good to get something. Big thanks to the fans, we know we have more and we can build on that for Vancouver,” said Amonde.

Kenya remained in 11th place with South Africa, England and Fiji on top of the leaderboard.

Meanwhile, after the thrills of Las Vegas, the World Rugby Sevens Series moves on to Vancouver and, with the draw now complete, there will undoubtedly be a number of closely fought pools to enjoy.

U.S. Sevens winners South Africa will top Pool A but will not have an easy run through to the Cup quarter-finals as a tricky group awaits them on the west coast of Canada.

Former England Sevens player Rob Vickerman commented on the pool draw: “Pool A is a tasty one with South Africa and England but also Kenya as a team that can create some upsets. They often seem to play well against England, in particular, so that will be a match to look out for.”

Elsewhere, runners-up in Las Vegas Fiji top a pool with a resurgent Argentina side, Samoa and Wales - no easy games there - while a buoyant U.S. outfit take on Australia, France and Japan in Pool C.

Vickerman added: “Pool D is another really interesting group. The pressure for the home team can go one of two ways. We can see a galvanised performance as we saw by bronze medal winners USA in Las Vegas or sometimes the pressure to perform can be too much for a team. I’m looking forward to seeing the home crowd get behind Canada and I hope the fans get something to cheer about.

“Scotland are the third team in that pool. By their own admission, they underperformed in Las Vegas and they will be looking forward to stepping up next week. All around, it’s a pretty even spread.

These tournaments are so difficult to call and quite often we see the fourth seed in the pool ending up winning it. So, we are looking really looking forward to Vancouver. It should be competitive and another exciting leg.”

             

 

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