To Shujaa, it’s one step at a time in Sevens Series

Kenya Sevens in action at Dubai Sevens Series.[Courtesy-World Rugby]

Kenya Sevens are eighth in the World Sevens Series standings after registering poor results from the two legs of the Dubai Sevens played across the last two weeks in United Arabs Emirates.

Shujaa collected 10 points during the first leg where they finished eighth after losing to Ireland in the seven and eight classification match playoffs.

Last Saturday, Innocent Simiyu’s charges registered an improvement in the second Dubai leg where they collected 12 points after thumping USA 29-0 to finish sixth.

Overall, Kenya are eighth in the standings with 22 points after a tough outing that saw them register only three wins out of the 12 matches played across the two legs.

South Africa are enjoying a 24-match unbeaten run and have collected 44 points after picking 22 points in each event. Argentina are second with 34 points.

The Dubai legs, which kick started the 2021-2022 World Series, saw Johnstone Olindi star for Kenya while fans favourite Alvin ‘Buffa’ Otieno’s was not in his bullish mode.

Olindi, who features for Kenya Cup champions KCB Rugby,  led Shujaa with five tries and 33 points. Herman Humwa and Otieno also scored five tries each.

Shujaa captain Jeff Oluoch also impressed with four tries, 23 tackles and made the most runs for Kenya.

Kenya Sevens will, however, need to improve on their defenses and attacking plays if they are to compete with the best teams including South Africa when the series resumes next year.

Meanwhile, the series will make the next stop in Malaga with the 16 sides set to feature in the tournament slated for Spain in January on 23 and 24.

Malaga and Seville in Spain will welcome teams for the first time.

Kenya are in Pool D and will battle with France, Canada and Wales. Wales are set to make a return after missing the 2021 Series and the opening two legs of the 2022 World 7s Series.

Pool A has 2021 World 7s Series Champions South Africa who have won the opening two legs. They will battle with returning England and Scotland alongside Olympics Champions Fiji.

In Pool B, Australia will square it out with Ireland, Japan and New Zealand who are also set to make a return after missing the opening legs two legs World 7s Series.

Argentina, USA, Spain and Samoa are in Pool C.

Taking into account that not all teams would be able to compete in all events due to the challenges of the global Covid-19 pandemic, a unique Series points scoring system was introduced for the 2022 Series in the interests of fairness.

The system sees the best seven men’s results and four women’s results for each team contribute to their final Series standings.

The number of contributing results will increase should a replacement event for Hong Kong be added.

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