Kenya 7s have been relegated from the World 7s Series after a 12-7 loss to Damian McGrath’s former side Canada in the playoffs final in London.
Relegation means Kenya who have been a core side since the 2002/03 season will go back to regional competition to fight for a place in the next year’s Challenger Series with hope of earning their spot back.
The playoff match carried significant importance as it determined which team would retain their spot in the newly revamped World 7s Series. Kenya 7s, who had advanced to the final after a narrow victory against Uruguay, were determined to return to their winning form and secure a double triumph over Canada.
On the other hand, Canada sought to avenge their last-minute 24-19 defeat to Kenya 7s the previous day, making the match a highly anticipated clash.
In the third minute of the game, Kenya 7s took an early lead with Nelson Oyoo scoring a try after Shujaa stole the ball from a line-out. Anthony Omondi successfully converted, giving Kenya a 7-0 advantage.
However, the match was temporarily halted as Kevin Wekesa sustained an injury and was substituted off for John Okoth. Canada showcased patience in their attacking plays and managed to equalize just before halftime, with Josiah Morra touching down for a try converted by Brock Webster, resulting in a 7-7 tie at the break.
In the second half, Kenya 7s faced a setback when John Okoth received a yellow card for an intentional tap. Despite Kenya winning consecutive penalties, poor decision-making cost them as Jeff Olouch was penalized for not releasing the ball after a quick tap from the second penalty.
Taking advantage of their one-man advantage, Canada capitalized on their opportunities and scored through Alex Russell. They held on to their lead and emerged victorious in the match, leaving Kenya 7s with a disappointing outcome.
The loss to Canada meant that Kenya 7s would be relegated from the World 7s Series, signifying a challenging setback for the team. Despite their efforts and early lead, Kenya 7s was unable to secure the win and ultimately fell short in their bid to retain their spot in the prestigious tournament.