Kenya dreams of rugby medal at Commonwealth Games after Hong Kong disappointment

Source: Xinhua| 2018-04-09 20:39:46|Editor: Shi Yinglun
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NAIROBI, April 9 (Xinhua) -- The Kenya Rugby Sevens team turns their focus to the Commonwealth Games, after failing to beat Fiji in the finals of the Hong Kong Sevens.

Two yellow cards in the first half for Kenya's Collins Injera and Willy Ambaka dealt a major blow to Shujaa's title hopes as Fiji went into the break with a 17-point lead.

A late resurgence was not enough to turn the tables as Kenya went down 24-12 to Fiji in a pulsating Hong Kong Sevens cup final. This was a repeat of the final of the Vancouver Sevens where Fiji beat Kenya.

Head coach Innocent Simiyu urged his players to put their loss behind them and focus on the bigger picture as he takes his team to the Gold Coast in Australia for the Commonwealth Games.

Kenya's rugby has developed tremendously since the introduction of men's rugby sevens at the 1998 games in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. "They are professionals and will pick it up from where they left off in Hong Kong," Simiyu said on Monday.

Kenya will start their Pool C campaign at the Commonwealth Games on Saturday with a match against Canada before taking on New Zealand. They will wrap up their pool play assignment with a match against fellow African side Zambia on the same day.

The top ranked teams in each of the four pools will qualify for the semi-final, staying in contention for the medals on offer. In the World Series, Kenya have moved up one place on the log to seventh with 83 points as they head into the final three rounds.

South Africa (123 points) hold a slender three-point lead over Fiji (123 points) with New Zealand (107 points), Argentina (90 points) and Australia (89 points) rounding off the top five.