As the eighth round of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series rolls into town, it's no doubt that two teams have particularly fond memories of playing in Singapore and will be reminded of a little bit of history as they step back out on the pitch this weekend.

In its last two years on the series, the Singapore Sevens has provided two new winners and more importantly, two first-time winners. Those teams are Kenya and Canada. Kenya won it back in 2016 where they beat Fiji to lift their first Cup trophy. In 2017 it was Canada's turn to head home as Singapore champions. 

Kenya's Singapore surprise

It took 114 tournaments for Kenya to achieve their first series win but when their chance came they took it in style. Sitting in seventh heading into the Singapore Sevens,  the 2015-16 season had been a mix of good and bad for the team but that would soon change as they marched on to lift the title. 

It wasn't straight forward for Kenya after some tough pool matches but they successfully secured their spot in the Cup quarter-finals and ran out eventual winners against France, taking the game 28-7. This led to a semi-final showdown with Argentina and arguably the side's defining moment of tournament. With the clock in red, Kenya were awarded a penalty on their opponents' 10-metre line. Up steps Kenyan sevens legend Collins Injera who slotted it straight through the posts. 

"At that point in the Argentina game we had already subbed off our kicker," recalled Injera. "I'm not usually a kicker in the team, there are many good kickers in the team but I was the only one there at the time. I remember I had missed a relatively easy conversion earlier on but when the penalty came from the kick-off I thought, I'd been doing it in training so why not have a go?

"I ran over to the captain and I said let me have a crack at it and he said 'go for it'. So I took the ball and gave it a boot and when it went through the posts it was quite a relief to be in the final."

The day was set to get a whole lot better for Kenya and Injera. They faced off against Fiji in the final a few hours later where Kenya stunned the Pacific islanders, beating them 30-7. The second most decorated try scorer in sevens series history was at it again notching up a cup final double.

"After the Argentinian game, the team got another boost and really got the energy up." said Injera. "It was really good and certainly helped [me] in the final. I hadn't scored the whole tournament and then to come into a final and score two tries was great but I was just glad to be able to help the team achieve what they achieved that year.

"The Singapore Sevens is a special tournament, the atmosphere and the fact that teams know that anyone can lift the cup gives them great motivation to win it."

Canada's time to shine

After 140 tournaments, it was Canada's turn to write their own piece of history by winning their first ever HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series tournament in Singapore last year. Canada's Harry Jones can't help but reminisce about last year's success. 

"You definitely get a nostalgic feeling coming back to Singapore this year," said Jones. "When you walk back in to the hotel or visit the stadium and remember everything that happened there. All these small things pop up now and then but obviously the biggest one stands out and that's making Canadian history and I'm so lucky to have been apart of that."

The road to the final was not an easy one for Canada after, as John Moonlight described it, "taking a licking from Fiji"

On day one but Jones reckons it was probably something they needed and may have helped them to go undefeated on day two with impressive wins over two big nations in New Zealand and England. 

"We had a pretty good chat after the Fiji loss. We'd won our first two games but then lost our last one and we just weren't playing good rugby. We went away from what we were good at. To be honest it was a bit of a wake-up call and at the end of the day maybe it's a good thing it happened."

Canada turned that day one Fiji performance around and before they knew it were in what would turn out to be a classic Cup final against the USA.

"I remember being up three scores with a minute left in the first half. USA turned over the ball and they managed to score two tries in a minute. So instead of being up three scores at half-time we were one score up and there was a massive momentum change," said Jones. 

"We were one score up in the second half but then they tied it up. Luckily, Lucas Hammond scored for us again at the end to seal it but even then there was a few minutes left on the clock. They were a nervy few minutes.

"We finally got a scrum and it was pretty scrappy and when the ball came out to Nate [Hirayama] there was about eight or nine seconds on the clock, so he started running backwards and checking the clock before kicking it out. The final whistle went and we were all ecstatic!"

Speaking on what's to come in Singapore this weekend, Jones was adamant about this Canada team having a shot at repeating what they achieved this time last year.

"This year on the series we've been playing good rugby but the results haven't gone our way, we've probably made a few more mistakes than usual which has meant not finishing things off the way we can. We can definitely take confidence from knowing that a year ago with a similar team we won the tournament. Sevens is a funny sport, it's emotional roller-coaster and you need confidence to play well and I know the boys will be excited to get out and play here."