NAIROBI, Kenya, May 16 – After failing to maintain consistency in Paris, the national sevens team will be out to end the season on a high when curtains for the 2015-16 HSBC Sevens World Series campaign comes down with the final round in London this weekend.
Kenya, who collected 10 points at the penultimate round, have been drawn in a relatively fair Pool C against France, Scotland and Portugal in a tournament where they will be seeking to at least reach the Bowl semi-final to attain an overall of 100 points for the first time since they were promoted as a core side.
Shujaa’s highest overall points stands at 99, achieved at the 2012-13 season when the team finished fifth under the then head coach Englishman Mike Friday.
However, despite not upholding their historic Singapore tournament standards, the Benjamin Ayimba side have a chance to attain the landmark points, going by their display so far this season.
Kenya, who reached the Plate semifinal after losing 26-7 at the hands of Australia, will be looking to get one over France, who shattered their dreams of searching for a second successive Main Cup title, thanks to the 24-5 fall in the quarters.
Shujaa is also expected to continue their dominance over Portugal after winning in all the four times they have met this season, although they need to be cautious after being forced to come two tries down to win 29-14 in the opening Group A match in Paris.
Even though Ayimba said he will approach the London leg just like the others, he is expected to use the one week to rectify the weak points identified in Paris.
Kenya’s mental strength was put to test in Paris especially in their final pool match against New Zealand where they were left to rue a missed opportunity to kill the game off when they over complicated an attack inside the All Blacks 22.
At that time they were leading 17-15 with less than a minute before the game ends, but Frank Wanyama lost possession to gift New Zealand their winning try.
Kenya were also a pale shadow of themselves in the Plate semifinal against Australia, failing to keep the ball, with the defence dipping in a match where they only scored one try through Billy ‘The Kid’ Odhiambo.
In other Groups, Paris champions Samoa headline Pool A and face three tough games against the series’ second-placed side South Africa and North American rivals USA and Canada.
Paris runners-up Fiji will face Australia, the host nation England and another of the Team Great Britain sides Wales in a difficult Pool B.
And finally Argentina leads Pool D alongside New Zealand, an improving Russia side and Olympic hosts Brazil.