Rugby: Safari Sevens exposes RFUEA ground’s deplorable state

By Rodgers Eshitemi: Monday, October 21st 2019 at 00:00 GMT +3 | Rugby
Kenya fans follow action between KCB and Spain during their Tusker Safari Sevens 2019 match at RFUEA Grounds on October 19, 2019. KCB won 24-7. Photo/Stafford Ondego/

Though the 23rd edition of the  Safari Sevens somehow lived up to its billing with quality display of the game on the pitch and impressive fans’ attendance, the deplorable condition of the rain-soaked RFUEA grounds reflected the poor state of Kenyan sports.

As Kenya’s second string side Morans saved best for last to lift the title after stunning former World Sevens champions South Africa 19- 14 in the final, Shujaa finished third after seeing off Russia Academy 19-5.

But it is the condition of the ‘home’ of the Kenyan rugby due to poor drainage system and lack of a ‘proper’ media centre  for journalists on day one that left a lot to be desired with the heavy downpours exposing the venue’s pathetic state.

However, after receiving a backlash on social media, the organisers improved facilities for journalists covering the event. And even as Kenyans continue celebrating Morans’ victory, they are still loosing sleep over speedster Collins Injera’s shoulder injury.

The damaged pitch was partially blamed for the injury he sustained during Shujaa’s 19-14 quarters victory over Samurai.

Injera’s absence was heavily felt in the semifinals as Shujaa fell 19-5 to South Africa.

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This was not the type of news coach Paul Feeney wanted to receive ahead of next month’s (November 8-9) Africa Sevens-cum-2020 Tokyo Olympic qualifying tournament in Johannesburg, South Africa.

The World Rugby Sevens Series second all-time top scorer was making a return to the team after staying out the whole of last season due to contractual issues together with other fifteen senior players.

But businesses at the tournament’s Village targeting fans and revellers suffered the most as fans were mostly restricted at the stands due to the impassable state of the roads leading to the designated zone.

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