Shujaa prove point at Vancouver Sevens
6 months ago, 13 Mar 07:32
Shujaa put up a gallant performance to collect 19 points from the Vancouver Sevens despite losing 31-12 to Fiji in the final yesterday morning. The win saw Shujaa remain eighth on the log with 64 points, surpassing their target of last season, where they finished 12th with an overall points tally of 63 from the ten tournaments. The match against Fiji was the second over the weekend after both sides met in the preliminary rounds with the Fijians winning 24-21. In the final, Shujaa started brilliantly with Willy Ambaka crossing the whitewash and Sammy Oliech converting for a 7-0 lead. The Fijians re-grouped and levelled matters through Joshua Vakurunabili after a minute. Vatemo Ravouvou converted to tie the game at 7-7. The Fijians then went ahead shortly after Sevuloni Mocenacagi touched down for uncoverted try and a 12-7 lead. Oliech was to restore parity for Kenya with an unconverted to end the game 12-12 at the interval. On resumption, the Fijians stepped up a gear with Mocenacagi scoring his second try and Amenoni Nasilasila kicking over the conversion for 19-12 lead. The Pacific Islanders were to extend their lead thereafter with Alesio Naduva touching down and Nasilasila converting to give the Fijians breathing space of 26-12. Paula Dranisinukula then put the icing on the cake for the Fijians with a late unconverted try. Kenya tried to rally in the closing seconds with Ambaka going on a searing run only to be tackled into touch by Fijian play-maker Jerry Tuwai to close out the match. This was Kenya fourth final appearance for Kenya in the history of the World Sevens Series. The first final was in 2009, when they succumbed to a 26-7 defeat against South Africa in Adelaide. In 2013, Kenya also lost to England 24-19 in Wellington final in extra time and two years ago, Kenya beat Fiji 30-76 in Singapore final. Head coach Innocent Simiyu remains on course to bag 100 points for the season with four events remaining on the circuit. Shujaa ripped up the form book on Day Two, stunning England 12-0 in the quarterfinals and edging USA 24-19 in a pulsating semi-final. The win against England was their first over their colonial masters since 2011. Skipper Oscar Ouma led from the front in the match against the English and his well taken try gave Kenya a deserved 7-0 lead at the interval. Shujaa defended gallantly, denying England space and Billy Odhiambo put the match beyond doubt to seal their place in the semis. In the match against USA, Shujaa were on the back foot with speedster Perry Baker scoring a double and Folau Niua converting both for a 14-0 lead. Nelson Oyoo touched down twice with Oliech converting one try to trail 14-12 at the interval. On resumption, Carlin Isles gave USA the lead at 19-12 before Willy Ambaka crashed.
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