Battered Kenya 7s face Canada in Challenge Trophy

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Battered Kenya will on Sunday take on Canada in Hong Kong Sevens Challenge Trophy quarter-finals after they lost all their Pool “C” matches in Hong Kong.

The team’s dream of reaching their first main Cup quarterfinals this season went up in smoke when they went down to New Zealand and Australia 36-0 and 28-12 respectively on Saturday.

The loses came a day after they had lost 22-5 to defending champion Fiji, which was a stark contrast of last year’s Hong Kong Sevens where Fiji and Kenya met in the Cup final with the Pacific Islanders winning 24-12.

It will be important for Kenya to win against Canada at 5.36am on Sunday and go all the way and clinch the Challenge Trophy considering that they are just a place above relegation.

Former world champions Wales and Japan, who are also relegation candidates, will face-off in the other Challenge Trophy quarterfinal match at 5.14am.

Scotland and Spain meet at 4.30am while Australia and Portugal lock horns at 4.52am in the other Challenge Trophy quarters.

Wales and Kenya tie on 18 point each but the Welsh, who are placed 13th, have a better aggregate hence placing Kenya at 14th. Japan, who have 14 points and in 15th place, face relegation from the series.

Kenya will also be keen on South Africa’s performance as far as the Tokyo Olympic Games are concerned.

The top four teams at the end of the 2018/2019 World Rugby Sevens Series will gain automatic qualification to the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games with the rest having to go through their respective continental qualification.

With South Africa finishing in top four, it will be a good relief for Kenya Sevens as they will face an arguably easy passage to the Tokyo Olympics from the Africa qualifier later this year.

South Africa, who went through Pool “A” unscathed, beating Japan 22-7, Scotland 26-10 and Samoa 21-7, face USA in the Cup quarterfinals. USA top the Series with 113 points while South Africa are fourth on 89, having won the previous leg in Canada.

Fiji went on to beat Australia 31-12 and New Zealand 24-5 to set up a main Cup quarterfinal date with Argentina.

New Zealand face France while England are up against Samoa in other Cup quarters.

There will be three legs remaining after Hong Kong; Singapore, London and Paris.

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