Lessons for Shujaa, Lionesses after improved show in Dubai

Kenya Lionesses and France players in action during the International Invitational Competition match at the Dubai Sevens yesterday. [KRU]

Kenya Sevens and Lionesses picked vital lessons after an improved show at the second leg of the World Rugby Sevens Series in Dubai.

Despite a week coupled with financial challenges and management issues, Shujaa picked their first win of the 2022-2023 season as they posted an improved show compared to last month in Asia.

Yesterday, Kenya Sevens went down fighting to Fiji 21-17 in the Challenge Trophy semifinals 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 campaign after beating Canada 17-7.

In the game, Jeremiah Matana gave Fiji an early 7-0 lead after Filipe Sautataga;’s conversion.

Kenya reacted perfectly after 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.

Just like in the group matches, 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.

In the women’s category, Kenya Lionesses exited the cup competition at the International Invitational Competition at the Dubai Sevens after losing 0-33 to Australia in quarterfinal.

The Lionesses who won two of their group matches, would end their trip with a 12-29 defeat to France Development in the plate semifinal.

Kenya advanced to the cup quarterfinal after defeating defending champions France 19-14 in their final Group A encounter on Friday afternoon. They had begun the tournament with a 10-5 win over Tunisia and later fell to a 0-31 defeat at the hands of South Africa.

Locally, defending champions Kabras Sugar and KCB maintained their perfect start to the Kenya Cup season after recording an identical 41-0 win over Mean Machine and Masinde Muliro University respectively.

Last season’s runners-up Menengai Oilers also picked their second victory after a 24-10 win over Kenya Harlequin as Kenyatta University’s Blak Blad handed newbies Catholic Monks their second defeat of the season.

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