Kenya 7s out of medal contention after New Zealand loss

Shujaa skipper Nelson Oyoo

Kenya Sevens captain Nelson Oyoo in an interview after their victory over Uganda in the Commonwealth Games opening match at Coventry Stadium in Birmingham, England on July 29, 2022.

Photo credit: Ayumba Ayodi | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • Damian McGrath's charges were hammered 31-0 by the All Blacks in the quarter-finals of the "Club" Games on Saturday.

In Birmingham

Kenya Sevens will not return home with a medal from the Commonwealth Games.

Damian McGrath's charges were hammered 31-0 by the All Blacks in the quarter-finals of the "Club" Games at the Coventry Stadium on Saturday.

The All Blacks, who led 24-0 at the break, scored five tries and three conversions to blow away the Kenyans.

In the other quarterfinal matches, defending champions South Africa, who are the only other team to have won the Commonwealth Games title, stopped Canada 33-0 while Fiji clipped Scotland 34-7.

Australia stopped Samoa 7-0 in the last quarter-final match.

Kenya will now meet Scotland in the semi-finals for fifth place play-off on Sunday at 1.58pm Kenyan time with Samoa taking on Canada in the other last-four encounter.

New Zealand face Fiji in the semi-final for the medals event at 2.42pm with South Africa taking on Australia in the other semi at 3.04pm.

“For six weeks of work, it wasn’t a bad effort. We ran out of steam and two tries before half time made the boys lose composure,” said Kenya Sevens coach Damian McGrath. “Their attitude and efforts are commendable after they threw their bodies on the line.”

McGrath said that he is building a team for the 2024 Paris Olympics and it will take time to see perfect results. “We are not miracle workers, and can’t perform magic. We have come a long way in a short time and we shall do better next time,” explained McGrath.

McGrath said their next assignment is the last leg of the 2021/2022 World Sevens Series in Los Angeles on August 27 to 28. “We expect quarter-final performances going forward,” said McGrath.

“We can’t match New Zealand now but we shall in a few months’ time. It's still work in progress."

McGrath said his boys will understand game management, which is a big part of play.

“Being big and strong is one thing and being able to use it properly is another thing altogether. It takes time…we played against a team with the best breakdowns in the world,” said McGrath.

“We lost at the breakdowns but we take the positives from the match since we still have positions to fight for,” said Kenya Sevens skipper Nelson Oyoo.


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