Rugby Rugby

Kenya lose Plate semis as SA end NZ reign


CECIL-AFRIKAGLASGOW, July 28 – South Africa ended four-time Commonwealth Games rugby sevens champions New Zealand’s unbeaten 30-match run to take gold Sunday while Kenya’s run ended with a Plate Semi final loss to Wales.

The Springboks clinched a nail-biting 17-12 final victory at a packed Ibrox Stadium thanks to tries from Seabelo Senatla (2) and Cecil Afrika and a conversion by Branco du Preez.

However, it was disappointing for the national 7s team whose dream of winning their first Commonwealth medal went up in smoke after once again crashing out in the Main Cup quarters 19-7 to the All Blacks before losing the Plate semis 28-5 to Wales.

Ben Lam grounded a brace as Tim Mekkelson added the third as New Zealand scored three tries against Kenya.

Skipper Andrew Amonde scored the consolation try for after powering through from the centre for fly-half Biko Adema to convert before Lam got his second after weaving through the Kenyan defence.

Against Wales, Lee Williams touched down twice after Jevon Groves opened the scoring before Luke Treharne sealed the victory after sliding underneath the post when Oscar Ouma gifted him a pass.

Ouma grounded Kenya’s reply with the team looking deflated after their medal hopes fell short against All Blacks.

Shujaa now turn attention to the 2014-15 HSBC Sevens World Series that will see the top four teams qualify to 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics Games.

As Kenya went home empty handed, their African rivals Blitzbokke ended an era for the All Blacks in the Main Cup final that stretched back to a Jonah Lomu-inspired side that won gold in Kuala Lumpur in 1998.

New Zealand did not relinquish their title without a fight scoring two tries through Sherwin Stowers and Joe Webber, Gillies Kaka nailing one conversion.

“This feeling is the greatest,” said Afrika. “We as South Africans are so proud. Rugby is our national sport; we always strive to be the best in the world.

“The Commonwealth Games is a one-off tournament. As a squad we want to take this forward to the Rio Olympics.”

Australia took bronze with a 24-0 win over Samoa.