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Kenya Sevens promoted to World Rugby Sevens Series

Rugby
 Kenya Sevens celebrate after a past win.[World Rugby]

Kenya Sevens are back to the World Rugby Sevens Series.

Shujaa qualified for the HSBC SVNS Series main event on Sunday after coming from behind to thrash Germany 33-15 in the do or die promotion and relegation playoff match played at Civitas Metropolitano Stadium in Madrid.

After finishing second in Group B, Kenya faced Germany who finished third in Group A in a winner takes it all promotion quarterfinal. Shujaa played Spain, Chile and Samoa in Group B.

Group A saw USA, Uruguay, Germany and Canada face off in the ranking preliminaries.

Kenya who played in the Challenger Series qualified for the playoffs after finishing second in the second tier league.

 Shujaa celebrate after qualifying for the World Rugby Sevens Series.[World Rugby]

In the match, Germany had a dream start after Chris Umeh went over for an unconverted try to lead 5-0 before Shujaa replied through captain Vincent Onyala who shrugged off two defenders to score near the posts.

Anthony Omondi converted for a 7-5 lead. However, a dangerous head tackle by Shujaa saw Chrissant Ojwang sent to the sin bin for two minute, a numerical disadvantage that Germany capitalised on to retake the lead.

After defending for more than a minute, Maximilian Heid found a gap on the left to score near the left corner for a 10-7 lead after another missed conversion.

 Shujaa celebrate after qualifying for the World Rugby Sevens Series.[World Rugby]

Ojwang returned to the field after the try and corrected his mistake by breaking from the right wing to restore Kenya’s two-point advantage as Shujaa led 12-10 at the break.

In the final half, Kevin Wambua introduced John Okoth in place of Ojwang and the Menengai Oilers star immediately made an impact after breaking through the midfield to ground Shujaa’s third try of the game which extended Kenya’s lead to 19-10 after Omondi’s conversion.

The Germans however refused to give up as Niklas Koch made Kenyans pay for poor defending to touch down another unconverted try to cut the gap to 19-15.

 Shujaa scrum half Brian Tanga in action against Germany.[World Rugby]

Sensing danger, Wambua brought in George Ooro and Brian Tanga and the duo combined before Ooro stretched the scores to 26-15 after a flying touchdown between the posts.

Kevin Wekesa completed Shujaa’s glory after shrugging off two defenders to score Kenya’s fifth try of the match for a 33-15 win.

Speaking after the match, Shujaa captain Onyala said they are more than proud to restore Kenya’s glory on the international rugby stage.

“Wow! This is amazing. These brand of new talent gave their all to get us back to the top and we are more than grateful for the belief, support and faith. We celebrate now,” said Onyala.

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