Shujaa drop vital points, yet again in London

By Clement Wekulo : Sunday, May 26th 2019 at 00:10 GMT +3 | Rugby
Kenya's Vincent Onyala (R) evades a tackle from Samoa's Laaloi Leilua (L) as he goes to ground to score a try during the rugby union sevens pool match between Kenya and Samoa in London [Courtesy]

Kenya’s hopes of making it to London Sevens quarters were dealt a blow after Shujaa lost 31-17 to France in their final pool B match yesterday.

Earlier, Vincent Onyala put up a man-of-the-match performance scoring a hat-trick of tries to inspire Kenya to a hard-fought 21-20 win over Samoa in their second match of the London Sevens yesterday. 

Johnstone Olindi converted Onyala’s tries while Samoa failed to add the extras to any of their four tries. 

Samoa will have themselves to blame as Laaloi Leilua squandered a last-minute conversion that could have seen them claim maximum points.

The Samoans stamped authority in the early exchanges of the match taking a 10-0 lead through unconverted tries by Melani Matavao and Logotuli Alasio. 

Onyala got Kenya off the mark with a try that was converted before the KCB man sent Kenya 14-10 up at halftime with his second try of the match. 

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The lead changed hands yet again upon resumption as Samoa scored an unconverted try through Leilua. 

A series of offloads by the Kenyans saw Onyala return to the scoresheet but Samoa would not go down without a fight as they scored a last gasp try through Almanda Motuga. 

Earlier, Shujaa put up a gallant display as they lost 24-17 to Fiji in their opening match of the two-day tournament. 

Kenya got onto the scoresheet through three tries and a solitary conversion while Fiji had four tries and two conversions. 

Paul Murunga’s charges matched the Fijians in every department and they will definitely feel undone by the late sending off of Brian Wandera, which perhaps tilted the result in favour of the Fijians. 

With two minutes left and the sides level 17-17, an infringement by Wandera saw him sent to the sin-bin and Fiji were quick in utilising their numerical advantage as Paula Dranisinikula scored the match-winning try. 

Fiji took control of the match in the first minute as Aminiasi Tuimaba crossed the whitewash for a try that was converted.

Shujaa found a response almost immediately when forward Bush Mwale was teed up by his Homeboyz teammate Jeffrey Oluoch to reduce the deficit with a five-pointer.

However, the conversion attempt by Johnstone Olindi sailed wide.

Derenalagi Meli stretched Fiji’s advantage with an unconverted try before Mwale sealed his brace to ensure the sides tied 12-12 at halftime.

The see-saw affair continued in the second half as Fiji regained their lead through a Tuimaba five-pointer.

Kenya, who were proving to be relentless, tied the scores yet again through Jeffrey Oluoch. 

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