BY STEVE AYOO
Kenya Sevens have it all to do in the final leg of the 2018-19 World Rugby Sevens Series season after they got only one point at the London Sevens which saw them drop a spot in the standings.
Shujaa lost all but one of their matches in London, including a damaging 26-17 defeat to relegation rivals Japan in the Challenge Trophy 13th place semis.
Wales were the biggest beneficiary of Kenya’s woes as, despite losing to Scotland in the Challenge Trophy semis, the five points they collected moved them three points above Kenya with bottom side Japan a further two behind.
It means the battle against relegation will go down to the wire in Paris next weekend.
Kenya, drawn to face the Welsh, Australia and South Africa in Paris, still have their fate in their own hands as they only need to match or better Japan’s results to secure their core status.
Fiji defend title
Meanwhile Fiji eased past Australia 43-7 to win the London 7s and take over from USA at the top of the series standings with one round to play.
It all came down to the final match at Twickenham after the Americans sealed third place at the #London7s, with Fiji knowing defeat would leave their rivals still at the summit with one round to go. If there were any nerves, they certainly were not apparent in the Cup final as Fiji romped to a 43-7 success.
Vilimoni Botitu set Fiji off to a flyer and a steal from the restart ended with Aminiasi Tuimaba taking two Australians over the line with him. Australia simply had no answer to Fiji’s passing with sublime offloading paving the way for Tuimaba to complete his hat-trick before the break.
Joe Pincus gave Australia brief hope but a line-out error enabled Josua Vakurunabili to pile over and restart the procession. Alasio Naduva flew over in the corner then powered through for Fiji’s seventh try of a spectacular finale.
Fiji move onto 164 points with USA two back. New Zealand sit third with 143 and South Africa are fourth with 131. USA, Fiji and New Zealand sealed qualification for the Tokyo Olympics yesterday and they were joined by South Africa today as they profited from England’s (109) struggles to confirm a top-four finish in the standings.
Paris 7s Draw
Additional reporting by World Rugby