- Shujaa were beaten 29-5 by New Zealand
- This was their opening Group D match
- They are looking to move into the top half of the standings
Kenya began its Hong Kong Sevens campaign on a losing note, going down 29-5 to World Series leaders New Zealand in their Group D match on Friday evening
The New Zealanders dominated the opening exchanges, landing three tries from Leroy Carter, Dylan Collier and Akulia Rokolisoa with Ngarohi McGarvey-Black and Rokolisoa adding conversions for a 19-0 lead.
They would let their foot off the gas pedal as Shujaa finally found meaningful possession and from the go forward momentum, captain Nelson Oyoo went over the whitewash to make it 19-5 at the break.
Shujaa were unable to make use of their second half possession, and twice kicked away possession, both times punished by Cody Vai and Rokolisoa who landed his brace to confirm the full time score.
Up next for Shujaa is a clash against Ireland at 6.28am on Saturday morning.
Hoped for a better start
The team had hoped for a better start especially with their targets in check. The team hopes to make at least the Cup quarters in Hong Kong to try and scale up the standings.
“Our aim is to make the Cup quarters in Hong Kong because this will be very helpful as we try to get into a good position with the season almost ending. I believe we can do that because we have been improving game by game,” said head coach Damian McGrath.
For the squad that travelled to Hong Kong, Jeff Oluoch is set to make his first start of this season’s Sevens Series after being named in the travelling squad.
Johnstone Olindi also returns to the squad for the first time since the Dubai and Cape Town rounds of this season’s series as Head Coach McGrath named an experienced squad to do battle in the Far East.
Denis Abukuse and Brunson Madigu, who were part of the team on duty in North America do not travel to the far east.
Delighted to return to the team
Commenting on his return to the squad for the first time with the RWC Sevens 2022, Oluoch, who recently became a police officer after passing out from the Administration Police Training College said, “It feels good to be back with the team. I’ve been putting in a shift and it feels good to be back. There are massive expectations from everyone but we know the boys won’t let you down.”
He also paid tribute to the fans saying, “To all our fans out there, we thank you for the support out there…we still need you for the coming assignments and we are sure we’ll earn our slot and keep the side afloat as a core team.
Shujaa are in Pool D in Hong Kong alongside New Zealand, Ireland and South Africa.
Shujaa squad to Hong Kong and Singapore:
Daniel Taabu, George Ooro, Billy Odhiambo, Kevin Wekesa, Tony Omondi, Herman Humwa, Nelson Oyoo (Captain), Johnstone Olindi, Edmund Anya, Brian Tanga, John Okoth, Alvin Otieno, Jeff Oluoch