Rugby: Olindi stars as Kenya silence Uganda in Commonwealth Games opener

Kenya's Johnstone Olindi races away from the Spain defense for a try on day two of the Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens 2019 men's competition on 6 December, 2019. Photo credit: Mike Lee - KLC fotos for World Rugby [Standard]

Johnstone Olindi scored two tries as Kenya Sevens avenged their Rugby Africa Sevens Cup defeat to Uganda by thrashing the noisy neighbors 27-14 in their 2022 Commonwealth Games opening match played on Friday afternoon.

Kenya lost to Uganda 22-12 in the semi-finals of the Africa Rugby Sevens Cup in Kampala on April 24 and headed into the match seeking to reclaim their lost supremacy and avert dominance in the East African rivalry folklore.

In the match, KCB’s star Olindi gave Shujaa the lead in the second minute after a quick play from the ruck caught the Ugandans asleep as the Damian McGrath-led side lead 5-0 after missed conversion.

With Uganda reduced to six-men after Ian Munyani was sent to the bin for indiscipline, Herman Humwa stretched Kenya’s lead to 12-0 after Anthony Omondi’s conversion with a center post try.

Olympian Billy Odhiambo sold a clean pair of heels after he picked up the ball from the ruck and went on a sprint through the midfield before touching down for a 17-0 lead.

Timothy Kisiga would pull one try back for the Ugandans after running from inside his own half and turned on the afterburners to touch down between the sticks as they trailed 17-7 at half time.

In the final half, former Kabras Sugar full back Philip Wokorach returned to haunt the Kenyans after outpacing Olindi from the right wing before a couple of dummy saw him touch down between the posts as Uganda closed the gap to 17-14.

Just like the first half, Uganda were again reduced to six men after Adrian Kisito was sent to the bin.

Olindi immediately capitalized on the numerical advantage to dot Kenya’s fourth try before Kevin Wekesa came off the bench to seal the 27-14 win.

Kenya will return to the field to face Jamaica at 8:58pm today before they wind up their pool matches on Saturday with a clash against Australia at 12:50pm.