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It can only get better for Otieno, the Buffalo

RUGBY By Washington Onyango | November 2nd 2021
Shujaa's star Alvin 'Buffa'Otieno in action during the Safari Sevens.[Jonah Onyango,Standard]

Fan favourite Alvin’ Buffalo’ Otieno once again showed why World Rugby adores him after helping Kenya Shujaa reclaim the Safari Sevens title they last won in 2016.

In the process, Otieno was named the 2021 Safari Sevens Most Valuable Player (MVP).

‘Buffa’ was in top shape as the side won five of their six matches played in the tournament.

Otieno, who helped Kenya to two podium finishes at Vancouver and Edmonton Sevens in September, landed the opening try that helped Kenya beat Germany 12-5 in the final.

Kenya has now won three of the last five Safari Sevens editions including 2019 (Morans) and 2016 (Shujaa). Samurai Sevens is the other side that won two legs of 2015 and 2018.

The tournament was cancelled in 2017 due to that year’s General Election, while Covid-19 pandemic led to its cancellation last year.

In the women’s category, Janet Okello scooped two awards after helping Kenya Lionesses to winning the title.

The Kenya Lionesses speedster was the Most Valuable Player in the women’s category and the tournament’s top try scorer.

Shujaa's star Alvin 'Buffa'Otieno in action during the Safari Sevens.[Jonah Onyango,Standard]

They retained the title with a 26-0 win over Lady Cranes sealing the triumph in their round-robin matches.

Fly-half Grace Odhiambo was the top points scorer of the tournament with 56 points. She was also part of the Lionesses squad that won the overall title.

Lionesses Two finished second in the tournament as Uganda Lady Cranes won bronze.

Meanwhile, Shujaa head coach Innocent Simiyu said they have shifted their focus to the 2021-2022 World Rugby Sevens Series which begins in Dubai at the end of the month.

Simiyu, who was impressed by his sides performances, said they will begin full team training on Sunday as they look to kick off the series on the front foot.

“We played well and I am happy we have players who have shown hunger and grit in the tournament. This shows we have the talent and we can go places,” said Simiyu. 

“We have work to do and with the remaining short time, we can start our preparations and be sharper in all facets of play. Possibly, we start on Sunday then see how it goes.”

Kenya Sevens have finished third in the shorter 2021 World Sevens Series played in Canada two months ago.

In the shortened series played over two legs only due to Covid-19 pandemic, Kenya won silver medal at Vancouver before finishing third and claiming bronze at the Edmonton leg.


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