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Shujaa seek fresh solace in Cape Town after Dubai debacle

After a dreadful and forgettable opening leg finishing bottom with a point at Dubai Sevens, Kenya sevens rugby national team returns to HSBC world sevens series at the Cape Town stadium for the second stop of the 16-team, 10-leg rugby competition.

On a quest to beat last season 104 seasonal record points, Shujaa commence their second leg this season against Pool C rivals, in the fourth match of the day. 

In Dubai, England beat Australia 15-14 in the 3rd/4th playoff for the bronze medal while Kenya registered five losses in a row to finish last tied with continental rival Namibia tied by a point.

HSBC sevens all-time top try scorer Dan Norton made history after hitting historic 300 tries for England in Dubai and currently lead the top try scorers log with 302 while Shujaa speed-star Collins Injera remained in second place with 271 points. 

Shujaa’s second will be against rivals Fiji at 3.20pm while the last pool fixture will see them play France at 6.41pm. 

In Dubai, Kenya lost all three pool matches on the first day, two losses to Fiji and France. Kenya lost 17-21 to France and 41-12 to Fiji. Kenya sevens head coach Paul Murunga will be looking at revenging last weekend losses after tough lessons picked from the opener round in one of the poor performances posted by Shujaa in the recent years.

Previous wins

Shujaa will need at least two wins to play Pool B team in the Main Cup quarters. Realistically Shujaa will have to avenge one of last weekend’s pool match loss by beating either France or Fiji after England’s win or avenge both losses should a loss be registered against England instead.

Both Kenya and England have registered a win and a loss in their previous two meetings. Kenya winning the first in Canada last season by 12-0 to progress to the cup semi-finals on March 28 while England took revenge to win the latter on April 11 for a 19-28 score.

Provisional squad

Kenya scorers in the loss were Collins Injera, Willy Ambaka and Nelson Oyoo with the conversion work handled by Sammy Oliech. In the win over England in March, hard-hitting Oscar Ouma and Billy Odhiambo scored a try each while Oliech converted once. 

Injera alongside other senior players including former captain and the world’s fourth all-time offload ace Andrew Amonde, winger Nelson Oyoo, Willy Ambaka, Billy Odhiambo, Oliech, Oscar Ouma and Oscar Ayodi missed Dubai and will not be playing in Cape Town. 

Majority of the senior players are set to return to the squad in the third stop at Hamilton while Billy Odhiambo is yet to recover from a knock. Experienced Forwards and former skippers Oscar Ouma and Oscar Ayodi’s fate is still unknown as the two did not make the provisional squad cut and have not been seen within the Kenya sevens set up since season 2017/18 was concluded.

Dubai winners and Cape Town sevens defending champions New Zealand will contest for main cup quarter-finals tickets against hosts South Africa, Samoa and bottom placed Zimbabwe in Pool A.

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