Shujaa switch attention to Series, World Cup

Adrian Kasito

Uganda's Adrian Kasito runs with the ball during the Men's Pool D rugby sevens match between Kenya and Uganda on day one of the Commonwealth Games at the Coventry Arena in Coventry, central England, on July 29, 2022.
 

Photo credit: Andy Buchanan | AFP

What you need to know:

  • Fiji, the Tokyo Olympic champions, halted All Black’s charge for their sixth title, beating them 19-14 in the semi-final. South Africa stopped Australia 24-12 in the other semi.
  • In the other quarterfinal matches, defending champions South Africa, who are the only other team to have won the Commonwealth Games title, beat Canada 33-0, while Fiji clipped Scotland 34-7.
  • Australia edged Samoa 7-0 in the last quarter-final match.

In Birmingham

Kenya Sevens shift focus to the last leg of the 2021/2022 World Sevens Series in Los Angeles and the Rugby World Cup Sevens after they failed in their quest for a medal at the Commonwealth Games on Saturday.

The Los Angeles Sevens is scheduled for August 27 to 28 at the American city and will be followed by the Rugby World Cup Sevens from September 9 to 11 at Cape Town Stadium, South Africa this year.

Shujaa will return home empty handed once again after New Zealand hammered them 31-0 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 31-0 in the quarter-final.

Kenya further lost to Scotland 22-12 in the semi-final for fifth place on Sunday.

Kenya Sevens coach Damian McGrath said that he has just started to build a team for the 2024 Paris Olympics and it will take time to see perfect results.

“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 McGrath.

“Their attitude and efforts are commendable after they threw their bodies on the line.”

“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, but said he expects quarter-final performances in the World Sevens Series going forward.

Realistically, McGrath noted that his charges can’t match New Zealand that has the best breakdowns in the world at the moment, but is optimistic they shall achieve that in a few months’ time.

“It's still work in progress,” explained McGrath, adding that his boys are gradually understanding 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, who promised improvement at the World Cup.

McGrath paid tribute to his players, especially the likes of William Ambaka and the entire technical bench for their superb work rate.

“We have been working well with coach Geoffrey Kimani over the past few weeks to ensure that they are in good shape. Kenya is a team to be feared and we expect to make progress, “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.

“We are slowly regaining our groove and it will take some time before we reach there.”

Fiji were up against defending champions South Africa in the battle for gold with New Zealand taking on Australia in the bronze medal contest.

Fiji, the Tokyo Olympic champions, halted All Black’s charge for their sixth title, beating them 19-14 in the semi-final. South Africa stopped Australia 24-12 in the other semi.

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

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


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