Kenya Sevens crowned Dubai Challenger Series champions

Shujaa celebrate after winning the opening round of the World Rugby HSBC Sevens Challenger 2024 in Dubai.[World Rugby]

Kenya Sevens are the Dubai World Rugby Sevens Challenger Series champions.

Patrick Odongo scored two tries to inspire Shujaa to the gold medal after seeing off a stubborn Chile 12-7 in the finals played at the Sevens Stadium in Dubai on Sunday.

Odongo gave Kenya the lead inside the opening minute after busting through the right wing to touch down near the corner, a tough conversion that Anthony Omondi sent between the posts for an early 7-0 lead.

A series of mishandles and knocks gifted Chile an opportunity to get onto the score sheet through Benjamin Videla who cut the lead to 7-5 at half time.

In the final half, Odongo once again took matter to his own hands to send Kenya to a 12-7 lead after missed conversion, a one possession lead they defended to be crowned champions.

In the semis, Shujaa hammered Uruguay 21-5 where rising star Patrick Odongo scored a hat trick to inspire Kenya to the win.

Keen to kick off on a high note, the team held onto possession, and Odongo brilliantly deceived opponents with a dummy move after a ruck, swiftly racing to secure the initial try. The conversion was successful, propelling Kenya to a 7-0 lead.

Building on their momentum, Kenya increased their advantage as Nygel Amaitsa executed a clever grabber kick, deftly collected by Odongo for the second try. The successful conversion widened the gap to 14-0.

Shujaa star Patrick Odongo.[World Rugby]

Uruguay faced a setback when a yellow card temporarily reduced them to six players, presenting an opportunity that Kenya exploited.

Taking full advantage, John Okoth orchestrated a setup for Odongo, who secured his third try, completing an impressive hat-trick.

Despite Uruguay's late attempt at a try, their endeavors fell short, and Kenya clinched the victory with a stellar performance, capitalizing on the advantage gained during Uruguay's temporary numerical disadvantage.

The top four teams from the Challenger series that has three legs in Dubai, UAE, Montevideo, Uruguay on March 8-10 and Munich, Germany on May 18-19 will then face off with the bottom four teams after the 2023/2024 World Series.

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