Shujaa face Uruguay in World Rugby Challenger Series semis

Shujaa captain Vincent Onyala (right) sprints to the tryline during their match against Mexico.[World Rugby]

Kenya Sevens will renew their rivalry with Uruguay in the semifinals of the World Rugby Challenger Series set for 12.37pm East Africa Time at the Sevens Stadium in Dubai on Sunday.

Shujaa qualified for the last four on Saturday after coming from behind twice to narrowly edge out a stubborn Japan side 21-19 in a tough quarterfinal match.

Patrick Odongo, Nygel Amaitsa and Samuel Asati each crossed the white wash with Anthony Omondi converting all the three tries for the important win.

Shujaa co-captain Anthony Omondi said their quarterfinal win over Japan came down to mental toughness especially after losing to Germany in their final preliminary group match.

Speaking after booking the semifinals, Omondi who plays for Mwamba in the Kenya Cup said despite the tall of the three-day tournament coming down on their bodies, they are always ready to ignite another gear with focus on restoring Kenya’s glory at World Rugby.

“Japan was a tough one for us having to cover their offloads which is one of their strengths. Despite being tires, we always find another gear and it all came down to our mental strengths.

“We are at a good stage and now we continue the fight through the challenges,” said Omondi.

Kenya Sevens head coach Kevin Wambua congratulated the boys for their semifinal feat, saying Shujaa has already surpassed their target which was to at least reach the quarterfinals.

Wambua who has already won the Africa Sevens title and Safari Sevens since taking over last year in September said they are keen on tackling upcoming opponents differently, adapting to each of their opponents differently.

“Japan were hard. They played through our system but through adapting and changing our systems like kicking behind them worked magic and that’s the beauty of sevens.

“You have a split decision to making and am glad we made the right ones in the quarterfinals. The boys have already done good and now we take it a notch higher because we have the quality to get to the finals,” said Wambua who doubles as Mwamba head coach.

Kenya begun the three-day tournament with a 41-0 win over Mexico and a 29-7 victory of neighbors Uganda on Friday before losing 24-12 to Germany in their final pool match.

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