By Juma Pondamali
Kenya finished seventh overall at the USA Sevens after series of battling performances throughout the three days of competition at a tournament that served as the fifth round of the 2017/18 HSBC Sevens World Series.
Shujaa started their campaign on a losing note, going down 14-19 to France in their opening Pool A match on Saturday morning. It took the experience of Collins Injera to score two tries in the ensuing 19-12 win over Russia, a match that left the team needing a win over fancied Fiji to reach the cup quarterfinals. They pulled it off, the experienced trio of Injera, Willy Ambaka and Andrew Amonde each scoring in the 17-14 victory over Fiji. This result saw Shujaa earned the right to face eventual cup finalists Argentina in the cup quarters. They however fell to a 12-17 defeat.
Playing in the fifth place semifinal against Australia, Shujaa gave as good as they got, finally exiting the tournament following a 26-21 sudden death defeat after the two sides had been tied 21-21 at the close of regulation time.
The team has meanwhile been grouped with USA Sevens bronze medal winners Fiji, France and Spain in Pool C as the pools for the Canada Sevens in Vancouver were announced following the conclusion of the USA Sevens in Las Vegas.
USA, who won their home tournament with a 28-0 cup final shut out of Argentina will play in Pool A and will face Australia, hosts Canada and Uruguay. In Pool B Las Vegas runners-up Argentina face England, who last year secured a Cup victory in Vancouver, Wales and Samoa.
Series leader South Africa will face second place New Zealand, Scotland and Russia.The Canada Sevens is the sixth round of the 2017/18 HSBC Sevens World Series and will be played on 10th and 11 March at the BC Place in Vancouver.