Kenya Sevens on Sunday went down fighting to Fiji 21-17 in the Challenge Trophy semi-finals to finish 11th overall at the Dubai Sevens.
This is an improvement from the Damian McGrath led side who finished last with one point at the previous leg of the World Rugby Sevens Series in Hong Kong.
Prior to the Fiji match, Shujaa had just secured their first win of the 2022-2023 campaign after beating Canada 17-7.
In the game, Jeremiah Matana gave Fiji an early 7-0 lead after Filipe Sautataga;’s comversion.
Kenya reacted perfectlyafter landing three quick tries from Kevin Wekesa, Dennis Abukuse and Nelson Oyoo to head into the half time break with a 17-7 lead.
In the final half, missed conversions would come to haunt Shujaa once again after only one of the three conversion attempts found its mark.
Fiji managed to turn around the Kenyan tide as they found two converted tries from captain Waisea Nasuqu and Pilipo Bukayaro restored their lead as they took a 17-21 victory.
On Friday, Kenya failed to reach the quarterfinals of the Dubai leg after losing one match and drawing two in their Group A that had series defending champions Australia, Great Britain and South Africa.
Kenya held Australia to a 19-19 draw before losing 27-12 to South Africa. They ended the group winless after another 14-14 draw with Great Britain.
Against South Africa, Kenya trailed 17-0 against African heavyweights South Africa who scored through JC Pretorius, Ryan Oosthuizen and Impi Visser.
Despite Shujaa responding with two tries from Anthony Omondi and Deniis Abukuse, Dewald Human and Ricardo James Duarttee ensured victory for the Blitzboks.
In the first match, series defending champions Australia rallied from behind twice to deny Shujaa their first win of the 2022-2023 season after holding Shujaa to a 19-19 draw.
Herman Humwa gave Kenya an early 7-0 lead after touching down inside the opening minute that Anthony Omondi converted before Billy Odhiambo added a second try converted by Omondi for a 14-0 surprise lead.
The Aussies would however respond with a Josh Turner try converted by Maurice Longbottom as they trailed 14-7 at the breather.
In the final half, the series defending champions restored parity through Henry Paterson whose try was converted by Dietrich Roache for a 14-14 tie with four minutes left to play.
Willy Ambaka who was vocal last week during Shujaa’s financial crisis outburst in social media gave Kenya the lead once again after touching down in the corner but the conversion would sail wide.
The missed conversion would come to haunt Shujaa after Australia leveled the scores once again through Longbottom in the final minutes.