Dress-up craze takes over the Wellington Sevens
Fans dress up for the traditional party venue of the World Sevens Tour. Photo: Chris Skelton
Determined England deprived Kenya of a first world series sevens rugby title by winning a dramatic Wellington final 24-19 in extra time.
Chasing their first International Rugby Board tournament victory in 83 attempts, Kenya couldn't defend a 19-12 late in the second half as England added to their 2009 Wellington crown.
It represented a remarkable turnaround for England, who hadn't reached the quarterfinals of any of the first three legs of the series.
In a tournament dotted with upsets, a Kenya victory would have been fitting.
They were roared on by a New Zealand crowd unconcerned that Kenya had stunned the home side in extra time in Saturday's semi-finals.
As they did in the quarter-final defeat of South Africa and the famous 19-14 win over New Zealand, Kenya fought back from an early deficit in the final through tries to Horace Otieno, Willy Ambaka and the outstanding Oscar Ouma.
However, tournament top-scorer Christian Lewis-Pratt broke a second-half drought to score his second try in the 20th and final minute to level the scores.
By that stage Kenya had been reduced to five players after Ouma and Andrew Amonde were both sinbinned.
Lewis-Pratt slotted the conversion and England still had a numerical advantage when Sam Edgerley crossed for the winning try 2min into golden point extra time.
Earlier, England displayed the same fighting spirit to hold off Samoa 21-19 in the semi-finals.
Consolation for Kenya is that they have improved to second in the world series behind New Zealand, who beat Samoa 17-7 in the playoff for third courtesy of two tries to the brilliant Gillies Kaka.
Despite failing to reach the final for the first time in the series, New Zealand stretched their lead atop the standings.
They have 77 points, followed by Kenya on 56, Samoa 54 and three teams on 51 - Fiji, France and South Africa.
The fifth leg is in Las Vegas next weekend.