Shujaa fall to Australia as former rugby coach Mike Friday lifts title with USA

By Japheth Ogila: Monday, March 5th 2018 at 13:17 GMT +3 | Rugby
William Ambaka right in action against Australia [Photo: Courtesy]

Kenya Sevens finished the USA Sevens tournament on a low tone by bagging 10 points and making it to position 7. Shujaa fell to Australia by 26-21 in a 5th place Semifinal which was played on Monday at Sam Boyd stadium.

The two sides leveled 21-21 before the Australians broke the deadlock to win the game in the extra minutes. Kenya fell to the 5th place semi after defeat to Argentina 17-12. William Ambaka, Jeff Oluoch and Billy Odhiambo starred in this match but their efforts were not sufficient to lift the team to the grip of progression.

Before this, Shujaa had made remarkable performances by winning against Fiji and Russia 17-14 and 19-12 respectively.

While reacting to the Las Vegas tournaments, Ambaka expressed optimism that their focus now shifts to Vancouver tournaments as they aim at correcting their flaws.

“I think we started a little bit slow. But as games picked we built up very well. We need to pick up the positives, fix a little bit and move on to Vancouver,” said Ambaka.

Kenya Sevens will play France in Pool C on March 10, on Saturday, a tournament that they will be eyeing to inject new energy and turnaround.

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Meanwhile, former coach of Kenya National Rugby Sevens has registered an impressive performance with the United States after being appointed as the manager of the United States National Rugby Sevens.

Friday’s men thrashed Argentina 28-0 to clinch the Cup final. This is the second ever after London Sevens in 2015. Americans played maintained an unbeaten run in the tournament after they beat Fiji 19-7 as well as getting slim victory over South Africa by 12-10.

 Friday told the press:

“We want to show the sporting landscape in the USA what rugby can be and how that fits within the American landscape and this hopefully will touch and reach a lot of sports fans who realise they’ve got another national team that they can be proud of and that they can support.”

Mike Friday managed the Kenya National Rugby Sevens in 2013 before resigning, a move that he attributed to interference by the rugby management bodies in the country.