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Shujaa jet back home as Damian McGrath finds reality of work to do

Shujaa during a past training session
  • Shujaa have picked back to back single points in the last two rounds of the series
  • They have dropped to 13th in the rankings
  • New coach Damian McGrath will now look to refresh the team

New Shujaa head coach Damian McGrath has seen the reality of the amount of work he has to do as the team returns home following a disastrous tour of Europe in the World Rugby Sevens Series.

Shujaa picked a point each in the Toulouse and London legs of the series, winning only one match in both tournaments and dropping from 10th to 13th in the World Rugby Sevens Series standings and stare at the possibility of relegation.

McGrath will however look mostly towards the positives from the last leg of the Series in London where in the Pools, Shujaa lost by fine margins.

They started off their campaign with a narrow 17-14 loss at the hands of Ireland. The Irish boys crossed over thrice with one of those converted while the Kenyan boys crossed over twice through Edmund Anya and Archadius Huku, with Anthony Omondi converting both efforts.

The Kenyan boys however dipped in the second game where they suffered a 26-0 loss at the hands of Australia. In the final group match, they fought for pride as a place in the Cup quarters was long gone and they once again fell inches short.

They lost 24-21 to African rivals South Africa, having rallied from 19-7 down at halftime. The Boks crossed over for four tries and one converted while the Kenyan boys went over thrice, all of them converted.

New Kenya Sevens head coach Damian McGrath

Nelson Oyoo crossed over twice for the Kenyan boys with Omondi converting both while Salem Adoyo dotted down and converted Kenya’s third try, but they couldn’t take the fight to the line.

They had to drop to the ninth place play-off on day two, but luck simply evaded them as the downward spiral continued. Shujaa once again played another match without a try as they suffered a 31-0 defeat to France in the ninth place quarter-final.

They dropped further to the 13th place battle and weren’t lucky either as they lost 14-5 to Japan in the semis to end their journey. The Japanese ran in two converted tries while Kenya’s solo consolation was off Huku.

The tactician’s plans will now revolve around the Commonwealth Games in July and he will have a month and a half to scour through the remains of the carnage that has been this season, to try churn out a winning team for the Club Games to be staged in Birmingham.

After the Commonwealth Games, the team heads out to the final leg of the World Series where he hopes to push for a top 10 finish, before finishing off the year at the Rugby Sevens World Cup in South Africa.

In his interview after being unveiled, the coach said he will use the National Sevens Circuit which has already had two rounds played to enable him enlarge the scope of players as he looks to refresh the team with some new talent.

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