NAIROBI, Kenya, May 11- Once again Paul Treu’s former employers South Africa denied Kenya the chance to finish a largely underwhelming campaign with the Plate trophy by beating them 7-38 in the final as the 2013/14 HSBC World Sevens Series wrapped up in London on Sunday.
Treu ended the campaign without qualifying for the Main Cup semis he so much craved in the last two rounds in Scotland and London as yet again, his charges fell at the final hurdle in their second successive final after losing to England in Scotland last week.
Earlier in an action packed day, Shujaa paid for a poor start after going down to 5-12 to Australia in their London 7s Main Cup quarterfinal.
The South African who took charge in January after the team had gone through three of the nine rounds can however, look back at the last two legs that have offered him hope as he embarks on preparing for the 2014/15 World Series that will act as a qualifier for the 2016 Rio Olympics, the showpiece he was hired on a lucrative contract to lead Kenya to the first medal outside athletics and boxing.
New Zealand won the 2014 Marriott London 7s, beating trans-Tasman rivals Australia 52-33 in the final thanks to 22 points from Gillies Kaka having earlier trailed 21-0 in a roaring comeback as they confirmed their supremacy in the short version of the game yet again.
By winning the ninth and final round of the Series the All Blacks 7s had extra cause for celebration having already secured a 12th Series title in 15 years on day one.
In the Plate final, Seabelo Senatla scored his 11th, 12th and 13th tries of the London 7s to help South Africa win the Plate by beating Kenya 38-7 in the final.
By doing so, Senatla is only the third player in the history of Sevens to score 13 or more tries in a tournament and the first since the 2005 Paris Sevens.
Billy Odhiambo scored the only try for Kenya with Biko Adema converting close to the end of the first half that ended with the Blitzbokke, who have beaten their former boss six times this season, went to the break 7-17 to the good.
In the semi finals Kenya beat France 28-19 before Senatla completed a first hat-trick of the day in a 24-17 win for South Africa against Samoa, having trailed 17-0, a result which confirmed they would finish the season second overall behind New Zealand.
In the Main Cup quarters, Veteran Humphrey Kayange gave Paul Treu’s side hope when he grounded with over 5 minutes of the second half to go but Kenya were turned over cheaply as Australia held on to the slim victory.
It was not the best start for the Kenyans as Tom Lucas intercepted a pass from Michael Agevi on the half-way line to sprint clear for the first score of the game.
The in-form Sam Myers soon sprinted over for his sixth try of the weekend as Australia danced through Kenya’s defence.
Billy Odhiambo came so close to reducing the deficit by five in an extended final play but desperate Australia defending ensured they had a double-digit lead at the intervals they went in 12-0 to the good.
After the restart, Kayange hot footed the ball down down the right flank after a suspiciously-looking forward pass to give Kenya an all-important first score but the conversion was missed.
It remained a single converted try game as Kenya sat tight in their defence too and with Australia losing out in the breakdown.
Somehow, they manage to hold on, with Kenya looking for that one final break that never came as they advanced to meet England for a place in the final as Kenya set up a clash against France.
Kenya squeezed through the Main Cup quarters on Saturday after holding Scotland 7s finalists, Canada to a 17-17 draw following an opening match win against USA and a narrow loss to Samoa in their opening two games.