Rugby: Shujaa's status hangs by thread after finishing last in London

By Clement Wekulo: Monday, May 27th 2019 at 00:10 GMT +3 | Rugby
Fiji's Josua Vakurunabili (L) goes to tackle by Kenya's Jeff Oluoch (R) during match between Fiji and Kenya on the first day of the London 2019 World Rugby Sevens Series on May 25, 2019. (Courtesy)

Kenya’s hopes of maintaining their status as a core team in the World Sevens Series received a blow following a last-place finish at the London Sevens yesterday.

This was after the Paul Murunga-coached team lost 26-17 to Japan in the 13th place final.

Consequently, Shujaa picked one point from the outing, bringing their season tally to 27 ahead of the season-ending leg in Paris, which will determine their fate.

Kenya left the English capital having soaked 130 points while scoring 93 over two days.

In their loss to Japan, Murunga’s charges had three tries and one conversion, while the Japanese converted three of their four tries.

With both teams languishing at the wrong end of the standings, there was everything to play for and it was the Asians, who made an early statement of intent when Naomoki Motomura crossed the whitewash for a try that was converted.

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They extended their lead through Katsuyuki Sakai, who tore through the Kenyan defence to ground the ball between the sticks for their second try.

Shujaa hit back through Bush Mwale who was set up by Nelson Oyoo. The resultant conversion attempt by Johnstone Olindi sailed wide as Japan held on to a 14-5 lead.

Jeffrey Oluoch then raced from Kenya’s half to score a converted try that brought Kenya to within touching distance, mid-way through the match.

Olindi then teed up Mwale for his second try of the match as the Kenyans took the lead for the first time.

However, it was Japan who had the final say, scoring two quick tries.

 

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