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Kenya reclaims Safari Sevens crown

NAIROBI, June 22 – The national sevens rugby team thrashed South Africa’s Emerging Boks 31-12 to win this year’s Tusker Safari sevens trophy at the RFUEA grounds on Sunday.

A brace of tries by Innocent ‘Namcos’ Simiyu and a try each by Collins Injera, Victor Sudi and Humphrey Kayange saw the home boys end a three year title drought. They last won it in 2004.

Injera set the ball rolling by touching down in the third minute and Simiyu then made it 10-0 with a powerful run minutes later. Flyhalf Lavin Asego’s conversion was good giving Kenya a 12-0 lead.

The Boks scored a breakaway try to end the first half at 12-7 and then scored another try make the scores even two minutes after halftime.

Coach Benjamin Atimba made his first change bringing on Victor Oduor for Allan Onyango and a minute later Sudi made it 17-12. Asego’s conversion was spot on and Simiyu continued his great run of form by scoring his second try of the match to increase Kenya’s lead to 24-12.

He was sinbinned a few minutes later after knocking out a South African player but Kayange made the game safe with a try after brilliant run down the left sparking wild cheers from the fans.

In the plate final, World Champions Fiji lost 12-10 to Bristol City. It was the second time that Bristol had beaten Fiji 12-5 in the group stages.

In the bowl final, Kenya’s B side, Shujaa lost 17-12 in sudden death to Japan.

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The Kenyan reserves had fought back from 12-0 to equal the scores at 12-12 through tries by Leon Adongo and Allan Makaka but Japan had the last laugh with a try a minute into extra time.

Zambia beat Botswana 24-7 to retain the shield.

Earlier in the in the day, tries by the Simiyu brothers helped Kenya to a 10-5 win over Fiji in the main cup quarters. Victor Sudi scored the first try for a 5-0 halftime score and his younger brother Simiyu won the game for Kenya with the second try.

The home boys then avenged last year’s semifinal defeat to Zimbabwe beating them 14-7 while Emerging Boks beat France 35-14.

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