Kenya 7s face England, South Africa in Sydney


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Kenya open their Sydney Sevens quest with a tough duel against England at 2.58am Saturday at the Allianz Stadium, Australia.

There will be no reprieve for Innocent Simiyu’s charges in their second match where they will take on Dubai and Wellington Sevens winners South Africa at 7.15am.

The Wellington Sevens Challenge Trophy winners will then wrapping up their Pool “A” outing with Japan at 11.51 am.

Kenya Sevens hope for improved show in Sydney after they fell short at Wellington Sevens where they collected eight points after beating Australia 19-17 in Challenge Trophy final.

They stayed 10th after the third leg of the World Sevens Series with 25 points.

Kenya seeks their first victory against England who have defeated them 10 times and drawn twice in their last 12 meetings.

Kenya were shaky with kick offs and possession as they lost to England 31-12 in the pool stages at Wellington. England won the Cape Town Sevens title.

South Africa will be another tough opponent for Kenya with the Blitzboks having claimed their second Cup victory this season last weekend, beating Fiji 26-5 in a pulsating final at Wellington Sevens.

The duel was a rematch of the Dubai Sevens final where the Blitzboks won 26-14. South Africa would then lose to England 19-17 in the Cape Town Sevens final.

South Africa stretched their World Rugby Series lead to 63 points followed by Fiji 51 and England (49), who finished seventh in Wellington.

It will be the first meeting between Kenya and South Africa this season, having clashed three times last season. Kenya prevailed once in Cape Town, beating the hosts 14-12 in the pool stage.

Blitzboks turned the tables on the Kenyans in Sydney and Singapore, winning 26-19 and 14-0 respectively in the group phase, but the East Africans went on to lift their main Series title in Singapore, beating Fiji 30-7 in the final.

Kenya command an impressive 2-0 edge against Japan this season, winning 17-7 in Dubai and 24-5 in Cape Town. Kenya will once again bank on Billy “The Kid” Odhiambo, who was the most outstanding player in Wellington, alongside William Ambaka. All-time leading to try scorer Collins Injera hopes to increase on his tally of 237 tries.

Olympic and Sevens Series champions Fiji face France, Wales and Samoa in Pool “B” while, Scotland will play hosts Australia, New Zealand and invitational team Papua New Guinea.

Canada, who impressed in Wellington, top Pool D and play Argentina, USA and Russia at the weekend.

Kenya Sevens team manager Eric Ogweno is confident that the boys will rise up from the low key show in Wellington for a standout performance in Sydney where they lost to Argentina 24-0 in Plate final.

“We fell short of our expectations in Wellington by two points but the technical bench is fixing the weak points as we head to Australia,” said Ogweno in an earlier interview.

“Sydney is a tough one for us but still very manageable. We shall top the pool at the end of day one,” said a confident Ogweno.

Kernya v South Africa 7.15am

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