New coach, same old Shujaa as Kenya struggles at Toulouse 7s

Fiji's Waisea Nacuqu attacks against the Kenya defense on day one of the HSBC France Sevens men's competition at Stade Toulousain on 20 May, 2022 in Toulouse, France. [ World Rugby] 

Sevens failed to progress to the quarterfinals for the fifth time in a row after dropping to the Challenge Trophy at the seventh leg of the World Sevens Rugby Series, Toulouse Sevens in France yesterday.

Since the beginning of the year, Kenya has not gone past the group stage after poor results in Malaga, Seville, Singapore, Vancouver and now Toulouse.

It’s these string of poor results that the Kenya Rugby Union fired Innocent Simiyu last week.

However, the change of guard at Shujaa has done nothing less to improve the performance of the team as the team once again failed to impress at the hands of newly appointed Briton tactician Damian McGrath.

Shujaa lost their two Group B matches against immediate Vancouver Sevens runners up Fiji and hosts France to miss out on the quarters.

A late win over Waless could not change Shujaa’s fortunes as they dropped to play Scotland in the ninth place quarterfinals.

Kenya started the Toulouse leg on a low note after losing 29-5 to Olympic champions Fiji. Alvin Otieno scored Shujaa’s only try in the defeat.

In the second match, the East Africans failed to click again after going down 38-14 to France despite Alvin Otieno and Nelson Oyoo touching down.

Yesterday, Kenya redeemed themselves when Herman Humwa bagged a brace of tries before Billy Odhiambo sealed a 19-14 win.

The mixed results saw Shujaa finish third in Group B with five points as France and Fiji proceeded to the quarters.

Locally, Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology (MMUST) and defending National Sevens Circuit champions KCB progressed to the quarterfinals of the Kabeberi Sevens which kicked off yesterday at the RFUEA Ground.

KCB beat Western Bulls 31-14 in the opening round before seeing off rivals Kabras Sugar 22-5, while Masinde Muliro were 19-5 winners over Western Bulls, having defeated Kabras Sugar 17-12 in their opening Group A fixture.

In Group C, Menengai Oilers and Homeboyz advanced to the cup quarters. Oilers trounced Blak Blad 19-5, while Homeboyz brutally put Kenya Harlequin to the sword with a 45-0 demolition.

Homeboyz thrashed Blak Blad 29-0 as Oilers saw off Quins 24-14 in their opening group matches.


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