Shujaa blown off: Kenya Sevens lose opening matches to drift into Challenge Trophy

Shujaa have been relegated to the Challenge Trophy at the Dubai Sevens tournament after losing to Scotland and France yesterday.

Kenya lost their opening match 35-14 to a rampant Scottish outfit and 21-17 to the French. The Scots earned a measure of revenge after losing four times to the Kenya last season.

The Scots settled early and dictated play and were rewarded when Max Mcfarland dotted down with Gavin Lowe kicking over the conversion for a 7-0 lead.

Scotland doubled their lead when Robbie Ferguson stepped past the Kenyan defence and dived at the corner with Lowe slotting the extra two points to extend the Scots advantage to 14-0 at the interval.

Paul Murunga’s charges looked disjointed in the second half with miscommunication in defence and several knocked on passes as their main undoing.

This saw the free-flowing Scots punish them when Glen Bryce muscled his way to the line and Lowe added the conversion for a 21-0 lead. Shujaa re-grouped and dominated possession briefly and were rewarded when debutant Johnstone Olindi showed the Scots a clean pair of heels to touch down. He converted the try to narrow the gap to 21-7.

The Scots stepped up a gear and toyed with the Kenyan defence as Samuel Pecquyer crossed the line to widen the gap with Boyce adding the conversion for a 28-7 lead.

Dennis Ombachi scored Shujaa’s second try following good break by skipper Eden Sagero with Brian Wahinya converting for a 28-14. The referee then awarded Scotland a penalty try following a high tackle on Max Macfarland to end the match. Kenya were slow off the blocks in the second match against France, trailing 14-0 at half time. Pierre Lakafia and Paulin Riva scored a try each in the first half with Terry Bouhraoua kicking two conversions.

On resumption, Shujaa showed fight and piled pressure on the French with Ombachi scoring twice and Johnstone Olindi adding a third try and a conversion to give Kenya deserved lead of 17-14. However, with only seconds remaining on the clock, the French scored the winner courtesy of Lakafia to send Shujaa crashing out of the Main Cup quarters. Kenya were due to face Olympic champions Fiji in the final pool match.

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By Kenyan Digest

The Kenyan Digest Team