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Shujaa, Lionesses pick up vital lessons at Madrid 7s

RUGBY By Washington Onyango | March 2nd 2021
Kenya Sevens player celebrate after being award for their second place finish at the Madrid 7s.[Courtesy]

Women’s team posts positive results in second leg after previously finishing bottom.

The Kenya national men and women’s rugby teams wrapped up their invitational Madrid Sevens tournament with a second place finish after two weeks of action.

The tournament was a build-up ahead of the upcoming Tokyo Olympic Games in July.

Kenya posted mixed results at the Madrid event that ended over the weekend as Shujaa fell to Argentina in the final.

Meanwhile, Shujaa’s women counterparts, the Kenya Lionesses, posted improved results from last weekend. They lost to Russia in the final.

Both Shujaa and Kenya Lionesses finished second after falling 7-45 and 0-19 to eventual champions Argentina and Russia respectively in the second leg of the Madrid 7s.

In the final, Shujaa started on the wrong footing after they were temporarily reduced to six men when Billy Odhiambo was sent to the sin bin.

The Argentinians utilised their numerical advantage to take a 26-0 lead through Marcos Moneta, Rodrigo Etchart and Joaquin De La Vega.

Kenya Sevens Vincent Onyala (left) sprints past USA opponent during Madrid 7s. [Courtesy]

Vincent Onyala put some respect on the scoreline after slicing through a host of Argentina players to score between the sticks but it was too late to engineer a comeback as the Los Pumas extended their dominance to win 45-7.

In the pool stage, Shujaa had an 80 percent win rate after winning four of their five matches.

In the opening match of the second leg of the tournament, Kenya defeated Portugal 26-12, USA 29-12, and Spain 19-17 before kicking off their day two activity with a 15-5 victory over Chile. The loss came from Argentina who handed Shujaa a 19-36 loss.

During last weekend’s tournament, Shujaa saw off Portugal, Spain and USA in the round-robin group stage matches before losing to Argentine twice, first in the group and in the final of the first leg.

In the women’s category, Kenya Lionesses finished second after falling 19-0 to Russia in the final stage.

Lionesses, who finished bottom last weekend, showed improved performance this weekend, winning one match in the round-robin stage and suffered a 12-10 loss to Poland while their match against Russia ended in a 17-5 loss.

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