Shujaa out of Malaga Sevens Main Cup

Robin Pluempe

Shujaa's Alvin Otieno (centre) beats Germany's Robin Pluempe (left) during their Safari Sevens final match at Nyayo National Stadium on October 31, 2021.

Photo credit: Chris Omollo | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • Coach Innocent Simiyu’s men went into both Pool “D” fixtures with a better head-to-head record after winning their last two matches against Canada and three against Wales
  • Kenya came back strongly in the second half, grounding a try each through Onyala and Oyoo, with Levy Amunga making one successful conversion for 19-17 score in favour of Canada with less than two and a half minutes left
  • Kenya was sloppy with ball handling, ending up on the losing side after managing just one more try from Jeff Oluoch converted by Daniel Taabu against two from the Welsh by Williams and Tom Brown

Kenya Shujaa’s hope for a top-five finish at the third round of the World Rugby Sevens Series in Malaga, Spain went up in smoke after throwing away leads in defeats against Canada and Wales on the first day at the Malaga Stadium on Saturday.

Coach Innocent Simiyu’s men went into both Pool “D” fixtures with a better head-to-head record after winning their last two matches against Canada and three against Wales.

The Dubai I and II Cup quarter-finalists took an early lead with an unconverted try from speedster Vincent Onyala in their opening match against Canada.  

However, they fell behind 5-7 after Canada responded with a converted try from Cooper Coats in the fourth minute.

Pressure from Canada saw Kenya suffer a blow after Captain Nelson Oyoo was sent to the sin-bin for a high tackle.

Canada made full use of their numerical strength to add two tries scored by Josiah Morra and Alex Russell, Coates converting one, to enjoy a huge 19-5 half-time lead.

Kenya came back strongly in the second half, grounding a try each through Onyala and Oyoo, with Levy Amunga making one successful conversion for 19-17 score in favour of Canada with less than two and a half minutes left.

Shujaa had a chance to pile more pressure on their opponents inside their half after getting a line-out but squandered it by not throwing the ball straight.

In the second match against Wales, Kenya again took the lead with a try from Onyala after he got a good pass from Herman Humwa and outpaced his markers. Amunga added the conversion.

Luke Treharne leveled the scores 7-7 in the last second of the first half after converting Morgan Williams' try.

Kenya was sloppy with ball handling, ending up on the losing side after managing just one more try from Jeff Oluoch converted by Daniel Taabu against two from the Welsh by Williams and Tom Brown, one which Treharne converted.

Two straight losses effectively ended Kenya’s hopes of reaching the Main Cup quarter-final.

France thrashed Wales 38-10 and Canada 38-5 to reach the last eight with a match to spare. Even if Kenya mauls France on Saturday at 1.49pm, they will not be able to surpass the winner of the Wales v Canada match.

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