Shujaa outplayed by South Africa in final of Safland Sevens
Kenya succumbed 31-10 to South Africa in the final of the Safland Sevens yesterday in Namibia.
It was the second loss to the Olympic bronze medallists on the same day, having lost 22-0 in the pool stages. The Blitzbokke settled early and dictated play and play-maker Cecil Afrika darted over the line with Branco Du Preez kicking over the conversion for a 7-0 score.
Dylan Sage doubled the advantage for the South Africans, crossing the whitewash with Kenya guilty of missing tackles and Du Preez adding the conversion for a 14-0 score. Kenya regrouped and dominated possession briefly and were rewarded with a well taken but unconverted try by Leonard Mugaisi on the stroke of halftime as they trailed 14-5.
The Springbok Sevens outfit came out firing on all cylinders in the second half with Shakes Soyizwapi crashing over the line with Du Preez slotting home the conversion to extend the advantage to 21-5.
Billy Odhiambo scored Kenya’s second try to cut the deficit to 21-10 but the South Africans proved too strong in the final minutes with Werner Kok and Stephen Dippenar crossing the whitewash to seal the result.
In the semifinals, Kenya had to battle hard to edge Living Legends 31-19 in a pulsating match. Willy Ambaka put Kenya ahead before captain Andrew Amonde landed Kenya’s second try for 10-0.
Living Legends staged a brilliant comeback to score two quick tries through Allan Briggs and Peter Nzolani for a 12-10 lead at half time.
On resumption, Ambaka crossed the line early in the second half with further tries by Leonard Mugaisi and Billy Odhiambo putting the issue beyond result for the opponents.
Kenya had edged Eye of the Tiger 3114 in the quarter-finals. Willy Ambaka sidestepped his way to the try-line with a superb try with Brian Tanga kicking over the conversion for a 7-0 lead.
Eye of the Tiger defended well but eventually Kenya scored their second try through Tanga and he coolly converted his own try for a 14-0 lead.
Minutes later, Brian Rays capitalised on a big mistake from Kenya, who on attack switched the ball back but accidental landed to Rays, who raced his heart out to score between the posts with the conversion coming good for 12-7 halftime score.
On resumption, speed-star Nelson Oyoo showed the opponents’ defence a clean pair of heels to touch down and extend Kenya’s advantage to 17-7 with Tanga adding the extra two points to widen the lead to 19-7.
Dan Sikuta then made the game safe for Shujaa with a well taken try to extend the lead to 24-7 and Oyoo completed his double with a well worked try with Tanga adding a conversion. There was time for Eye of the Tiger to score consolation try through Brian Rays.