Acid test for Shujaa: Defending champions land tricky group for Safari Sevens rugby tournament
It will certainly be a tough test for defending champions Morans as well as Shujaa both of Kenya in the 23rd edition of the Safari Sevens pencilled for Nyayo National Stadium on Saturday.
Morans and Shujaa have their work cut out as they are set to meet HSBC World rugby core teams in pools ‘’C’ and ‘’A’’ respectively.
Likewise, Kenya Chipu also face an acid test in pool ‘’B’ which incorporates former champs Samurai, Red Wailers and South Africa All Stars all of whom shall be angling to make it to the knock-out stage.
Morans rose from a faulty start in the previous edition when they lost 17-12 to South AFrica on the opener day, but pundits expect them to be fast and furious in recovery.
They returned on day two to beat the Blitzboks from Uganda for the title in what was a Migingo Derby worth remembering.
The indefatigable Kenyan side will face off with the 2019 National 7s Circuit winners KCB before facing off with perennial campaigners Spain in pool ‘’C’’.
On the other hand, 2019 bronze medallist Shujaa will take on Germany, Zimbabwe and Stallion 7s from Nigeria in pool ‘’A’’.
The competition will adapt the Olympics format where the top two sides from each of the three pools will make a direct main cup quarterfinals cut while the other two slots will be reserved for the two best losers of the opening day.
In the meantime, the women’s event will be a four-team affair between hosts Kenya, Uganda, Zimbabwe and South Africa who shall slug it out in around robin format.
Also in the programme is the age group competition featuring players in the under-12 and under-14 categories.
Pool “A’’ in the under-12 category is composed of Little Princesses, Ole Polos, Bulbul and Saint Austin’s while pool “B” has Jamhuri, Eagles Ruaka, Creima and Kibera Golden Stars.
The teams which shall battle in Pool “C” include Eagles Racecourse, Central, Matasia and Nanyuki while those who make pool “D” include Happy Times, Runda, Mukuru, Shamas and Runda.
In the under-14 category of pool “A”, the combatants are Christco, Ngong’, Oloishobor and Shamas while Pool “B” encompasses Central, Runda, Mukuru and Kibera Golden Stars.
Battling it out in pool “C” are Matasia, Kitengela, St. Austin’s and Runda.
In the meantime, the veterans competition which is eligible to players aged 35 and above has six teams which have been split into two pools of three each.
In pool “A” are Mwamba, KCB and Blak Blad while pool “B” is composed of Nondescripts, Kenya Harlequins and BATUK.
Action will begin at 2.00 pm with the two top teams in each pool advancing to the semi final ahead of the final scheduled for 5.20 pm.