Rugby

Shujaa drops to fifth place semi-final at Dubai Sevens

Shujaa during a training session in Dubai

Kenya had a carbon copy performance of last weekend’s first leg of the Dubai Sevens in the second round, as t Shujaa out of Main Cup contention in Dubai,dropped to the fifth-place play-off semis following a loss in the Main Cup quarters.

Just as they did last weekend, Shujaa sneaked in to the Main Cup quarters after finishing off as one of the two best third placed teams after winning one group match and losing two.

They went on to face South Africa in the Cup quarters, losing 31-19. The Blitzbokke ran in five tries, three of which were converted while Shujaa managed to cross over the whitewash three times and converting only twice.

The South Africans were off to a flier and led 10-0 after three minutes with two quickfire unconverted tries from Zain Davids and Siviwe Soyizwapi.

Shujaa restored some hope when Alvin Marube crossed over after some good build up play from the team and Anthony Omondi sliced the posts for the conversion as the scores stood 10-7.

However, the South Africans got back into a healthy lead when Ronald Brown went over and Branco du Preez converted as they led 17-7, a tally they maintained at the hooter.

Kenya in action in Dubai

In the second half, the Boks continued their dominance with two converted tries all but winning the game for them. Christie Grobbelaar and Shaun Williams both went over with Brown converting as they opened upa healthy 31-7 lead.

Shujaa out of Main Cup contention in Dubai, he attempted for a late comeback, Timothy Mmasi going over and Johnstone Olindi converting for a 31-14 lead but it was all a little too late.

The Kenyan boys won the ball off the restart after the buzzer had gone and kept their possession to score another try through Jeff Oluoch, but it was all for the count as it was the last play of the game.

On day one, Shujaa, just as they did last weekend had a poor start as they went down 21-14 to Australia. Henry Hutchinson gave the Aussies the lead with the first try of the game converted by Dietrich Roache before Shujaa responded with Alvin Otieno crossing over and Omondi converting.

But, the Australians regained the lead when Corey Toole scored their second try of the game with Roache converting as they went to the break with a 14-7 lead.

Toole then completed his double in the second half and Roache added the twos for a comfortable 21-7 lead.

Innocent Simiyu’s charges attempted to battle their way back into the game and had some hope when Johnstone Olindi crossed over and converted his own try with two minutes left, but they couldn’t take the game all the way to the end.

In their second group match, Shujaa led 21-19 after the hooter had gone but a late lapse in concentration and failure to keep possession saw them lose 24-21 against the Americans.

Kevon Williams had started off on a strong footing for the Americans with the first try of the game, converted by Steve Tomasin. However, Shujaa responded twice with Herman Humwa and Billy Odhiambo crossing over, the two tries converted for a 14-7 lead by the Kenyans.

Shujaa during the Dubai World Rugby Sevens Series. PHOTO/Ministry of Rugby/Shujaa/Twitter

However, Williams added his second try of the game but the conversion sailed wide, with Shujaa heading to the break with a slim 14-12 lead.

The Americans responded in the second half with Williams adding another try before Tomasin crossed over and converted to give USA the lead. However, Shujaa went back ahead albeit via a slim margin, Alvin Marube crossing over and Olindi converting.

However, the Kenyan boys couldn’t see off the slim victory as Perry Baker crossed over after the hooter to give the USA victory.

Shujaa used the disappointment to bounce back in the final group match and sneak their way into the Cup quarters after edging out Canada 26-14. Olinda crossed over twice with Alvin Otieno and Edmund Anya adding one each.

Three of the four tries were converted.

Also, READ: Shujaa finish eighth at the season-opening Dubai Sevens

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