Shujaa drop to Challenge Trophy at Hamilton Sevens

Alvin Otieno

Shujaa forward Alvin Otieno charges past teammate Nelson Oyoo (left) during their training session on January 11, 2023 at Ruaraka, KCB Sports Club, Nairobi.

Photo credit: Chris Omollo | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • They will now meet Canada in the Challenge Trophy quarter-finals also known as the quarterfinals for ninth place late Saturday
  • Kenya Sevens slumped to a 31-75 defeat at the hands of Samoa, the 2022/2023 World Rugby Sevens Series leaders, went down to Fiji  21-7 before losing to France 26-21 in their Pool “A” outing
  • Dubai Sevens champions South Africa will face France while Fiji are up against Argentina in one of the Cup quarter-final matches

There was no reprieve for Kenya Sevens as they lost all their preliminary matches to drop to the Challenge Trophy at the Hamilton Sevens in New Zealand on Saturday.

They will now meet Canada in the Challenge Trophy quarter-finals also known as the quarter-finals for ninth place late Saturday. 

Kenya Sevens slumped to a 31-75 defeat at the hands of Samoa, the 2022/23 World Rugby Sevens Series leaders, went down to Fiji 21-7 before losing to France 26-21 in their Pool “A” outing.

Tony Omondi scored Kenya’s only try when they held Samoa 5-5 at the break but the Cape Town Sevens champions showed class in the second half. They touched down five tries with Paul Scanlan claiming a brace. Vaa Apelu Maliko, Motu Opetai and Owen Niue managed a try apiece to blow away Shujaa.

Denis Abukuse converted Brian Tanga’s try but all was in vain as the two-time Olympic champions Fiji won easily with tries from Filipe Sauturaga, Waisea Nacuqu and Viwa Naduvalo.

Shujaa, who trailed 19-14 at the break land three tries through Omondi, Alvin Otieno and Tanga with Omondi adding all the extras but they still came short against the Frenchmen, who were propelled to victory by Nelson Epée, who landed a hat-trick of tries.

France turned on the style to defeat Samoa. Paulin Riva, Aaron Grandidier and Rayan Rebbadj were their try scorers in a 21-10 victory.

That result threw the pool wide open and tries from Nacuqu (2), Naduvalo and Maisamoa saw Fiji hand Samoa a second defeat of the day 22-12.

It meant that a France win over Kenya would see the former make it through to the Cup quarter-finals alongside Fiji at the expense of Samoa.

The French did that in the end, but were pushed hard by Kenya, a Nelson Epée try hat-trick leading the way in a 26-21 win.

New Zealand won all their three Pool “B” matches. They thumped Tonga 45-0 with tries from Moses Leo, Regan Ware, Joe Webber, Roderick Solo, Ngarohi McGarvey-Black (2) and Brady Rush.

Nathan Lawson then led the way for Australia with two tries as they defeated Great Britain 28-14.

Tonga then caused a big shock by getting the better of Great Britain 26-21, Kyren Taumoefolau, Rodney Tongotea and John Ika among the tries for the victors.

There was then a cracking tie between New Zealand and Australia. Henry Paterson’s try, converted by Dietrich Roache, in the second half looked like it might win it for Australia, but Solo and Akuila Rokolisoa had other ideas.

They scored a try and conversion respectively for New Zealand to win it 21-19.

Dubai Sevens champions South Africa will face France while Fiji are up against Argentina in one of the Cup quarter-final matches. USA take on Hong Kong Sevens champions Australia with New Zealand are pitted against Ireland.

The Cup quarters will be played early Sunday morning. 

Welcome!

You're all set to enjoy unlimited Prime content.