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Shujaa conclude World Rugby Sevens Series at 12th place

  • The team reached the fifth place final at the Los Angeles Sevens
  • They earned 12 points from the final leg of the series
  • The team switches attention to the World Cup

Kenya finished the 2021-22 World Rugby Sevens Series at 12th place with 49 points, having amassed 12 from the final leg of the series in Los Angeles on Sunday.

Shujaa put up their joint-best performance of the season as they reached the Cup quarters for only the second time in nine legs, losing out 44-14 to Australia who were crowned eventual champions of the series.

They went on to lose the fifth-place final to Argentina, and finished with 12 points. The only other time they have reached the Cup quarters was in the  second stage in Dubai, where they picked 12 points again.

Against Argentina, Shujaa were keen to battle for their best performance this season and victory would have assured them that. They didn’t have a good start with Matías Osadczuk’s early double, one of which was converted, giving the Pumas a 12-0 lead.

At the end of the first half, Shujaa battled to reduce the deficit with Anthony Omondi crossing over and converting his own try. But, Damian McGrath’s boys slumed on the second half.

Tomas Lizazu crossed over twice while Franco Sabato added a late one after the buzzer to firm up the huge win for the Argentines who finished the season at fourth place with 13 points.

Shujaa lose to Australia in Cup Quarters 

In the Cup quarters, Shujaa had a good start against Australia who ended up winning the overall title, but couldn’t sustain the pressure till the end as the Aussies picked up a massive win.

Shujaa had a positive start when Alvin Otieno dotted down the first try of the game. The speedy man picked up the ball off a ruck before citing space and using his quick feet to race down and score under the posts. Sammy Oliech sliced the posts for a 7-0 lead.

But, the Australians landed an immediate response when Mathew Gonzalez split the Kenyan defense with his speed and footwork, the conversion slicing through to tie the game at 7-7.

Kenya managed to hold on until the final minute of the game when skipper Nelson Oyoo was sent to the sinbin for a poor tackle. Australia used the single man advantage superbly well as they landed a try just before the break.

Maurice Longbottom ensured Australia went to the break on the lead when he made the most of spaces in the Kenyan backline occasioned by Oyoo’s yellow card and slit through to touch down under the posts.

In the second half, Kenya still with six men on the pitch, Australia scored two quick tries, Henry Paterson dotting down right at the restart before Josh Turner added the fourth after a quickly started set-piece, before the Kenyan defensive organization could get in shape.

Australia have game in their hands

With a 26-7 lead, Australia had the game in their hands.

Patterson then added his second of the evening with a try under the posts and despite Jeff Oluoch’s second try for Kenya, Corey Toole added one more before the end to ensure Australia picked a huge win.

Australia were beaten in the semis by Fiji, but they went on to beat Samoa 21-7 in the bronze medal match, picking up 17 points to win the series. They edged out South Africa by two points, the Blitzbokke having a disappointing tournament after failing to make it out of the group stage.

New Zealand’s All Blacks beat Fiji 28-21 to win the Cup title and the 22 points picked saw them finish eighth after missing half the tournament.

The All Blacks did not play in the opening four tournaments of the season due to COVID-19 restrictions.

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