Shujaa rule show
Kenya avenge last year’s loss to Samurai with resounding victory
Shujaa exacted revenge over Samurai with a comprehensive 38-21 victory to win the Safari Sevens tournament at the Kasarani Stadium yesterday.
Samurai, who pipped Kenya 2019 last year, fell behind when Frank Wanyama pounced on a loose ball to cross the line for an unconverted try and a 5-0 lead. Wanyama was on the mark a minute later when straight from the kick-off, he plucked the ball airborne and raced away to score at the centre with Brian Tanga kicking over the conversion for a 12-0.
Kenya were dominating possession and territory with skipper Andrew Amonde and Willy Ambaka dominating the collusions against the visitors and it came as no surprise when Tanga reacted quickest to a loose pass to barge over the line and score an unconverted try and a 17-0 lead.
Samurai looked shell-shocked and overwhelmed by the Shujaa physicality.
They gained possession from kick-off and put together a couple of phases with which guest player Dan Sikuta powered his way to the try line with Francisco Hernandez adding the conversion to reduce the deficit to 17-7 at the interval.
On resumption, Samurai came out firing with neat play between Ignacio Martins and Michael Fedo almost bearing a try. From the resultant turnover, Amonde delivered a pin point pass to Leonard Mugaisi, who showed the Samurai defence a clean pair of heels to touch down with Tanga converting for a 24-7 score. Shujaa were smelling blood and Billy Odhiambo touched down with Tanga converting for a 31-7 lead.
Samurai fought back immediately with Dougie Fife touching down and Hernandex kicking over the conversion for 31-14 score. With time running out, Samurai made the scoreline interesting with Michael Fedo scoring and Hernandez drilling home the conversion for a 21-31 trail.
Ambaka then made the game safe for Kenya after a superb break by Tanga to score at the centre. Tanga converted to close out the match. Tanga was later named MVP of the tournament.
Skipper Amonde said: “The boys played hard and Samurai kept coming back so we had to dig deep in the second half to close out the win.”
Head coach Benjamin Ayimba said: “We are never short of talent. Look at Tanga, Aluda Beda and Gramwell Bunyassi, they have impressed and done the country proud.”
Kenya had beaten Western province 17-5 in the semis with Samurai edging past England Saxons 7-5.
Kenya shujaa lifts the trophy after winning 2016 Safari Sevens tournament at the Safaricom Stadium, Kasarani yesterday.