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Senatla bows out as HSBC Player of the Final

South Africa's Seabelo Senatla played his final tournament of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2016-17 in Sydney before heading off to Super Rugby, and he certainly left a lasting impression.

The 23-year-old, who recently became the all-time top try scorer for the Blitzboks, was named the HSBC Player of the Final after scoring a try for himself as well as setting up team mate Stephen Dippenaar. Senatla also finished as the tournament top try-scorer, with nine, and leads the series table with 32 ahead of England's Dan Norton on 23.

"It doesn't get better than sevens rugby, I love the atmosphere," said Senatla. "I like how guys get together from different teams, it's really a festive feeling on the series and a very close family. It's not like 15s where you stay in one hotel, and the other team stays in another. You are all together and that's amazing. We're friends during the whole week and after the matches at the weekend. We naturally get the best out of each other which makes this a really special sport.

"Today before playing USA I was having a chat with Carlin (Isles) because he felt that nothing was getting together for him. I spoke to him and tried to cheer him up, baring in mind I was about to play against him. It's that type of brotherly feeling that you have with each other. You want to see the other guys do better. That's why I love it."

South Africa have now won three of four tournaments on the 2016-17 series, the best start for a team since New Zealand in 2008 when they won five tournament on the bounce. The Blitzboks top the standings and Senatla's efforts have unquestionably helped them get to that position, as head coach Neil Powell attests.

"Seabelo is a special player and a key player. We will definitely miss him and I hope he goes on to great things in the 15s game. I am glad we can send him off with a double win in Wellington and Sydney," said Powell - World Rugby

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Kenya Sevens will be hoping for a better show in the fifth leg of the ongoing World Rugby Sevens Series set for Las Vegas, USA, March 3-5.

Shujaa finished a disappointing 14th at the Sydney Sevens, adding only two points to their season tally and dropping a spot to sit at 11th.

They have been drawn to face Sydney bronze medalists New Zealand, Argentina and Russia in Las Vegas.

After narrowly losing the fight to England and would be champions South Africa in the group matches, Shujaa scrapped past Japan to finish third, thanks to Collins Injera's spellbinding try.

A date with Russia in the Challenge Trophy quarters was set but the boys barely turned up for it, eventually losing 22-0 against a team they beat 24-5 at the same stage in Wellington a week earlier. 

Shujaa's campaign in Sydney climaxed on a 10-5 loss to Canada in the 13th place playoff. The team will now return home and regroup ahead of the next leg.

South Africa won the Main Cup title by beating England 29-14 in the final and extending their lead at the top by 17 points. The Blitzboks are in Pool A alongside Wales, France and Canada.

Hosts USA headline Pool B with England, Samoa and an invited team the other members.

Reigning Vegas champions and Series defending champions Fiji will be looking to retain the crown and win their first title of the season from Pool D where they'll come up against London 7s winners Scotland, Australia and Japan.

Las Vegas 7s Draw

Pool A: South Africa, Wales, France, Canada 

Pool B: England, USA, Samoa, 16th team 

Pool C: New Zealand, Argentina, Russia, Kenya

Pool D: Australia, Fiji, Japan, Scotland

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