1 April 2013

Africa: Kenya Pitted Against South Africa and Samoa in Glasgow Sevens

Kenya have been drawn in arguably the toughest pool at the Emirates Airline Glasgow Sevens scheduled for May 4-5. Kenya are up against Tokyo Cup winners South Africa, Samoa and Canada in Pool 'A'.

Tournament hosts Scotland are in Pool 'B', which is headed by series leaders New Zealand, England and Portugal. Bronze winners in Tokyo, Australia, are in Pool 'C' alongside Hong Kong cham- pions Fiji, Argentina and Spain.

France are in Pool 'D' with USA, Wales and the Rugby World Cup Sevens hosts, Russia. Kenya will be seeking to bounce back to their best after raking in only five points at the Japanese leg over the weekend following a 12-10 loss against Argentina in the Bowl semis yesterday.

The result saw the Kenyan team drop a place on the rankings to place joint fifth with France. Anibal Panceyra opened the scoring for Argentina on after three minutes but Val- entin Cruz missed the conversion as the South Americans took a 5-0 lead.

Sidney Ashioya scored Kenya's equalising try inside the injury time of the first half but Biko Adema missed the conversion as the two sides went into the break five-all.

Matias Moroni put the Argentines into the driving seat 50 seconds inside the second half with Gaston Revol hitting the conversion for a 12-5 lead.

Kenya had a chance to go level but substitute Eden Ko- chieng failed to convert Billy Odhiambo's second minute try. Kenya are tied at fifth position on the standing with France after garnering 77 points each after seven legs of the nine tournament series.

Defending champions New Zealand lead the series with 132 points while South Africa are second with 100. Fiji are third (98) with Samoa fourth (94).

South Africa beat New Zealand 24-19 in the Cup final of the 2013 Tokyo Sevens, round seven of the HSBC World Series. In a repeat of the USA Sevens Cup final, which South Africa also won, the result now moves Paul Treu's side to 100 points, 32 behind New Zealand but two ahead of Fiji in second.

The Glasgow tourna- ment will be crucial in deciding which of the current teams will need to requalify as core teams next season, with hosts Scotland near the danger zone.

At the final round of the series at the Marriott London Sevens, the core teams ranked 13th, 14th and 15th after Glasgow, will have to battle it out with Asian champions Hong Kong, Russia, Zimbabwe, Tonga and Georgia for three available places next season.

Scotland and USA are tied in joint-12th place, ahead of Portugal and Spain. USA beat fellow relegation rivals Scotland 17-0 in the final of the Plate to secure vital points towards their Series tally and they now sit on level points in joint 12th ahead of Glasgow.

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