Ireland sink Kenya Shujaa in London Sevens opener

Johnstone Olindi

Kenya's Johnstone Olindi (right) unsuccessfully chases Jordon Conroy as the Irishman bursts through the Kenya defence at the London Sevens on May 28, 2022.

Photo credit: Pool |

What you need to know:

  • Shujaa, who finished last in the last two legs in Vancouver and Toulouse, trailed 5-0 at the break after Aaron O’Sullivan breached the defence on the left wing.
  • Edmund Anya leveled 5-5 from a Nelson Oyoo pass early in the second half as Anthony Omondi converted for a 7-5 lead.

Kenya Shujaa have started the penultimate round of the 2021-2022 World Rugby Sevens Series in London on a losing note after falling 17-14 by Ireland at the Twickenham Stadium in their opening Pool “B” match on Saturday.

Shujaa, who finished last in the last two legs in Vancouver and Toulouse, trailed 5-0 at the break after Aaron O’Sullivan breached the defence on the left wing.

Edmund Anya leveled 5-5 from a Nelson Oyoo pass early in the second half as Anthony Omondi converted for a 7-5 lead.

The Irish regained their lead 12-5 after speedster Jordon Conroy scored a try when he sped unchallenged to the try box, with Mark Roche adding the extras.

Kenya looked headed to their first win over Ireland in three matches when Arcadius Khwesa scored a beautiful try with seconds on the clock after fending off two defenders outside Ireland’s 22-metre and crossing the whitewash under the sticks. Omondi successfully converted the try for 14-12 lead.

However, Kenya conceded a penalty in Ireland’s half from the restart which their opponents capitalised on to outdo the defence on the right flank and score the winning try through Terry Kennedy to hand the East Africans their third consecutive loss.

The Kenyans had suffered at the hands of the Toulouse Sevens runners-up 29-7 in Dubai I and 21-14 in Vancouver early in the season.

The loss piles more pressure on the Kenyans who must stop South Africa and Argentina in their last group stage matches if they are to reach the main cup quarter-finals. 

Dubai I, Dubai II, Malaga and Seville champions South Africa were made to sweat by Vancouver Sevens winners Argentina before emerging 26-19 winners in the first match in this group.

Kenya, who are handled by Englishman Damian McGrath, have collected 38 points from the first sevens rounds, including one each from the last two events in Vancouver and Toulouse, just seven points outside the relegation zone.

The tournament kicked off with Pool “C” matches where New Zealand defeated Australia 24-19 as France came from behind twice to pip Canada 19-14.

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