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Kenya 7s in pool B for Madrid finals

Tuesday, May 21st, 2024 13:44 | By
Kenya 7s (Shujaa) players huddle, PHOTO/Kenya Sevens/Facebook
Kenya 7s (Shujaa) players huddle, PHOTO/Kenya Sevens/Facebook

Kenya 7s will head to Madrid in search of promotion back to the world sevens series after finishing second in the just concluded Challenger Series.

Kenya won the first leg in Dubai before crashing out in the semifinal stage as the series made a stop in Montevideo. A 19-17 quarter final loss to Germany would not deter Shujaa who would finish second in the overall standings, consequently booking a slot to Madrid for the qualifiers.

The team which is still in a rebuild phase won four of their five matches in Munich, much to the delight of a packed Kenyan crowd. Defensive lapses and unwarranted errors however exposed Shujaa and will be a worry going forward with the level of competition turning a notch higher.

Kenya 7s (Shujaa) players in action against Germany. PHOTO/Michelle Ntalami/Twitter.
Kenya 7s (Shujaa) players in action against Germany. PHOTO/Michelle Ntalami/Twitter.

Kenya 7s co-captain Vincent Onyala however is optimistic that the team can build on their recent successes in the Challenger Series and secure a spot in the HSBC SVNS series.

Kenya 7s captain comments

Kenya 7s skipper Vincent Onyala on the race for a try, PHOTO/Rugby Afrique
Kenya 7s skipper Vincent Onyala on the race for a try, PHOTO/Rugby Afrique

Reacting to their qualification, Onyala expressed satisfaction at sealing the top spot and said the team is now focusing on Madrid.

“We are definitely happy, because with beating Uganda now, we have sealed our top four. Now we just wait to see what Madrid has for us. Hopefully we’ll get there and build on our little moments then see ourselves back in the HSBC SVNS Series," Onyala said after qualification.

Together with co-captain Tony Omondi, they have managed to guide a young Shujaa squad to commendable success and Onyala believes that playing on the world stage again will positively impact the team

“It will be big. Our programme will grow. The boys that are coming in will experience what it means to play with the best and we’ll build on from there,” he concluded.

Kenya 7s in pool B

In the finals Kenya 7s are in Pool B with Spain, Samoa, and Chile. Spain and Samoa, who finished in the bottom four of the HSBC SVNS, will make their playoff debuts, while Kenya 7s and Chile qualified for this competition by placing in the top four of the Challenger Series.

The tournament running from 31 May to 2 June will prove to be an acid test for Kenya, with danger lurking at every corner.

The team will camp at Miramas, France before heading out to Madrid for the finals.

Former Kenya 7s coach Mike Friday will lead the United States who are in Pool A against Canada, Uruguay, and Germany. Uruguay and Canada will make their second straight appearance in the competition.

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