Kenya 7s sink Uganda in Commonwealth Games opener

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:

  • Kenya took the lead 17-7 at the break with tries from Johnstone Olindi, Herman Humwa and Billy Odhiambo
  • Wekesa finished it with the icing on the cake to claim sweet revenge against the Ugandans who had beaten Kenya at the Africa Cup in April
  • Kenya’s other pool opponents Australia blew away Jamaica 62-0 in the opening match



In Birmingham

Kenya Sevens edged out Uganda 27-14 to win their opening match of the Commonwealth Games sevens rugby at Coventry Stadium on Friday.

Kenya took the lead 17-7 at the break with tries from Johnstone Olindi, Herman Humwa and Billy Odhiambo. Olindi made one conversion.

Timothy Kisaga made a break from centre field to give Uganda their opening try.

Then Philip Wokorach reduced the deficit for Uganda at 17-14 when he sliced through on the right wing.

Olindi would land his second try before Kevin Wekesa finished it off with Kenya’s last try.

Head coach Damian McGrath noted that Shujaa started well but excitement crept in during the second half for the match to end scrappy.

“Uganda have been building for a long time but again a win is a win. We pray that we pull through without injuries on the opening day,” said McGrath, adding that every game comes with pressure.

“We expect tough moments against Jamaica and Australia, who are currently playing top class game,” said McGrath.

Skipper Nelson Oyoo told his teammates to take every game seriously if they are to make it to the medal bracket.

“We thought we had the game until Uganda started to plough back. The lesson is that there are no lesser opponents and we must give all our opponents respect,” said Oyoo.

Olindi beat the Ugandan defence when he picked the ball from the ruck to score after sneaking through from the blind side. He successfully made the conversion.

Shujaa completely starved the Ugandans possession for almost six minutes of the first half.

Then Olindi would spread the ball to Anthony Omondi before laying Humwa to land as Kenya pulled away 12-0 after Olindi missed the conversion.

Odhiambo broke from the kick off delivery going wide to land for a 17-0 lead before Kisaga brought them back into the match with a try.

Uganda trailed 17-7 at the break before Wokorach’s exploits on the wing to bring the score to 17-14. Then Andrian Kasirto was sin-binned for infringement as Kenya staged a good build-up before Olindi nailed his second try for a 22-14 lead.

Wekesa finished it with the icing on the cake to claim sweet revenge against the Ugandans who had beaten Kenya at the Africa Cup in April.

Kenya’s other pool opponents Australia blew away Jamaica 62-0 in the opening match.

Kenya face Jamaica at 8.58pm on Friday before the pool’s big one against Australia on Saturday at 12.50pm.

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