Rugby Rugby

Odhiambo still tops performance tracker as Shujaa land NZ in Vegas

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Billy Odhiambo of Kenya takes on the Russia defence at the HSBC Sydney Sevens, 05 February, 2017, round four of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series. Photo credit: Michael Lee @ KLC fotos for World Rugby

NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 5- After four rounds of the World Rugby Sevens series, Kenya’s Billy ‘The Kid’ Odhiambo continues to impress as he remained top of the performance tracker after the Sidney Sevens which concluded Sunday morning.

Despite Kenya’s performance picking only two points from Australia, the Mwamba RFC winger had a decent performance and finished seventh overall in Sidney.

He made a total of 15 tackles, three breaks, five offloads and 17 carries to pick up a total 40 points, taking his season tally to 174, 13 ahead of England speedstar Dan Norton who has 161 while South Africa’s Seabelo Senatla is third with 159.

Kenya’s Willy Ambaka also makes the top five on the performance tracker with 148 points. Ambaka is also third on the top try scorers’ list after four rounds with 17 behind Senatla (32) and Norton (23).

Shujaa performed dismally in Sidney where they finished 14th and now drop to 11th on the rankings with 27 points. They will hope to make an improvement in Las Vegas, USA on March 3, but they have been placed in a tough group.

They will line up in Pool C against Sidney bronze medalists New Zealand, Argentina and Russia who beat them 22-0 in the Quarter finals enroute to winning the Champions Trophy.

South Africa who picked up their third main cup title in four rounds after beating England 29-14 are in Pool A with Wales, France and Canada. England will be in Pool B with USA, Samoa and one of the invited teams while Pool D will comprise of Australia, Fiji, Japan and Scotland.

The Blitzboke’s three wins from four is the best series start for a side since New Zealand in 2008, who won five tournaments in a row.

Player of the Final Senatla, who now leaves the Blitzboks to join the 15s game, said: “It is incredible. The guys are just magicians, hats off to them, I am just the finisher of the moves. It’s bitter sweet, we play here with family so it is a pity to be leaving the family but it’s a new challenge (in Super Rugby) that I’m excited for.”

Tries from captain Philip Snyman, Senatla and Justin Geduld went unanswered in the first half, while a second from Geduld in the second all but wrapped the game up.

England captain Tom Mitchell crossed for a consolation score as did Dan Norton, but in between those, Stephan Dieppenaar put the game out of reach.

South Africa head coach Neil Powell said: “I think it was great for the guys to come out and beat England, after losing to them in the pool stages (on day one). Last season we played in four finals and we only won one. So it’s special.”

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