BY STEVE AYOO
Kenya Sevens made a low key return back to the country after securing their core status in the World Rugby Sevens Series by reaching the Cup knockout stages in Paris.
Shujaa left it late to confirm their status among the Rugby 7s elite by reaching the quarterfinals in the final leg in Paris as a relegation battle with Wales and Japan saw the latter kiss the competition goodbye instead.
Victory against Wales coupled by a draw against Australia and defeat to group winners South Africa proved enough with other results also going Shujaa’s way as they reached their maiden Cup quarters this season.
Despite losing to USA in the quarters and also to France in the 5th place semifinal, the 10 points Kenya collected were enough to secure their status.
On a weekend where Fiji were crowned Series champions for a third time, Kenya finished third from bottom with 37 points, six ahead of Wales with Japan a further four behind.
Kenya needed a big performance and that’s exactly what they produced as, led by former captain Andrew Amonde, they reminded the fans in Paris how good a side they can be.
Amonde was named in the Paris 7s Dream Team as one of the three forwards alongside New Zealand’s Scott Curry and James Rodwell of England.
Bush Mwale and Johnstone Olindi were also named among the 7 top performers in the DHL Performance Tracker.
It was a relieving end for Kenya who have had a difficult season with a good number of elite players turning down the chance to don the country’s colors due to payment delays, or a total lack of.