Past Singapore Sevens winners Kenya Sevens rugby team eye their second historic HSBC sevens title in Singapore sevens this weekend with pulsating day one opening fixture against England at 7.52am Saturday at the Kalang National Stadium, Singapore. Also a target on sevens’ coach’s target list is this season’s 100 points chase.
Shujaa currently ranked seventh worldwide will be looking at trading places with at least one of the beatable immediate leaders on the world standings.
On an 83 points platter, Innocent Simiyu will be hoping for a repeat of the maiden Singapore sevens tournament back in 2016 where Kenya under coach Benjamin Ayimba entered history records with their first HSBC Sevens title win.
Shujaa skipper Oscar Ouma lays his trust in his teammates to replicate 2016 match formula, which led to the glorious cup moments at the same venue.
Winning your first tournament here will always bring up good memories. Brotherhood, playing for the next player, giving it your all is what Shujaa did back in 2016 and won the tournament,” said Ouma.
Backed by exceptional performance in the previous two outings, which resulted in two silver medals in a row, ‘Big Wheels’ also predicts a good hunt, which could see Shujaa return home with glory.
“Being in two finals in the previous two legs, we hope to replicate that performance with the 2016 performance and hopefully win it,” said Ouma. Shujaa headlines Pool B, a tricky group consisting of USA, England and France, three sides which Shujaa seem to have mastered to upset in their recent meetings to give them more confidence in their matches today.
Kenya will open their hunt with a worthy opponent, Commonwealth Bronze medallists-England at 7.52am followed by France at 11.18am and later close day one action with USA at 2.44pm.
For Shujaa to land a favourable cup quarter-finals opponent, Innocent Simiyu charges must command group B to a first finish to play second finisher from Pool C, a group which consists of South Africa, Argentina, Samoa and Canada.
Day two of action will see knock out stages coming in place with cup quarters kicking off at 7.30 am with following semis kicking off at 11.50am.
To achieve their 100 points season target, Shujaa only need a cup semi-final appearance for the 17 points deficit. Good performance could see Shujaa earn an elevation from their current seventh place, another achievement for Simiyu compared to last season’s performance.
After the tournament, the series will head into its final two stages, London and Paris, take a two-month break to leave teams to get recharge for San Francisco 2018 sevens.