Kenya Morans hunt down Safari Sevens title

Morans players celebrates with trophy after winning the Tusker Safari Sevens 2019 tournament match at RFUEA Grounds on October 20, 2019. Morans beat South Africa 19-14. Photo/Stafford Ondego
The Kenya Morans survived a second half scare from South Africa to edge the Blitzboks 19-14 in an entertaining Safari Sevens final at the RFUEA ground on Sunday.

It was sweet revenge for the second-string Kenyan national team, who had lost to South Africa in the preliminaries on Saturday.

The result saw Kenya reclaim the Safari Sevens which was last won by Shujaa in 2016.

Morans fired from all cylinders in the first half, taking a comfortable 19-0 lead to halftime after Geoffrey Okwach, Jeffrey Oluoch and Alvin Otieno scored with Johnstone Olindi adding two conversions.

South Africa came for the second half a much improved side, managing to reduce the deficit through Luyanda Mgandi’s converted try before Cameron Hufke caught the Morans defence napping with a quickly taken penalty to bring the South Africans to within touching distance.

On their way to the title decider, the South Africans, under the tutelage of assistant coach Renfred Dazel, beat Kenya’s National Sevens Circuit champions KCB 31-14 in the quarter final before dismissing Kenya’s national team Shujaa 19-5 in the semi-final.

In a match reminiscent of the World Sevens Series meetings between Kenya and South Africa, the Blitzboks scored three tries and two conversions while Shujaa, who were missing their talisman Collins Injera, who was injured in the quarter-finals, scored one unconverted try. 

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South Africa drew first blood as winger Siviwe Soyizwapi latched on to a cross-field kick by Selvyn Davids to score a try which was converted by Cecil Afrika. 

Shujaa then fought their way back into the match as captain Andrew Amonde bulldozed his way to the tryline on the stroke of halftime for a five-pointer. 

South Africa, the three-time World Sevens Series champions, stamped their authority in the second half with Davids kicking behind the Kenyan defence before scoring a converted try between the sticks. 

A beautiful move by South Africa saw them take the match beyond Shujaa’s reach as the ball was played out wide to Soyizwapi who crossed the whitewash for his second try. 

Morans’ journey to the final saw them beat French Club Seventise 24-7 in the quarter finals before beating Russia Academy 24-10 in the semi-finals.

Shujaa, Kenya’s main national team, finished third after beating Russia Academy 19-5.

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