NAIROBI, Kenya, December 9 – Fittingly, it was hosts South Africa who emerged champions of the Nelson Mandela Bay 7s as the official state funeral programme of the anti-apartheid icon the third leg of the HSBC World Series is named after rolled out on Sunday in Port Elizabeth.
Kenya, the side coached by the immediate Blitz Bokke head coach, Paul Treu, once again bowed out in the Main Cup quarters following a 19-0 defeat to the New Zealand All Blacks.
Their tournament ended in similar fashion to the preceding leg in Dubai when they fell to a heavy defeat to Fiji who impressively beat Kenya 52-5, despite playing the majority of the match with six men in the first semi-final as the victors went on to lift that crown with a 49-15 win against France.
In the Main Cup final, an inspired South Africa came from 14-0 down to fight back and win a popular victory against New Zealand, 17-14, to clinch the Nelson Mandela Bay South Africa 7s.
Having sailed through Pool B that had the hosts, Portugal and France, Kenya held their own in the first half of their Main Cup quarters that was a closely contested affair and it took a late surge from New Zealand’s Ambrose Curtis to break the deadlock with a try converted by Tomasi Cama right on the stroke of half time for the 7-0 lead.
All Blacks scored two further tries in the second, Cama converting Scott Curry’s touch down before Tim Mikkelson killed off the game with his unconverted effort later on, as the match ended 19-0 to relegate Paul Treu charges to the Plate semis.
Treu playing at his home turf once again failed to take his boys past the charging Fijians.
Samisoni Viriviri’s try in the first minute got them off for Emosi Mulevoro to convert as they led 7-0.
Horace Otieno replied for by Kenya touching down, only for Biko Adema to miss the conversion to allow Donasio Ratubuli extend the lead with his try as Emosi’s conversion went through.
Fiji continued to press Kenya on their defense, as Osea Kolinisau and Emosi scored three quick tries to ensure their side headed to half-time with a commanding 40-7 lead.
Despite substituting Davis Chenge and Humphrey Mulama it was too late for captain Andrew Amonde and his deputy Collins Injera to turn the tables round, as Samisoni touched down once again for Emosi to convert as the second period got underway.
The final nail in the coffin was hammered by Benito Masilevu with the last try of the game but Emosi missed the conversion.
Elsewhere, The Bowl went to Australia who beat England 28-19 as Scotland settled for the Shield with their 19-12 victory over Canada.
Kenya is placed seventh in the standings with 32 points, 26 behind leaders New Zealand while South Africa trail two adrift with Fiji third with 48.
The HSBC Sevens World Series now heads to United States of America, the Las Vegas 7s, for the fourth round on the weekend of January 24 to 26 next year.