Namcos keen to polish Shujaa

By Alex Njue
Wednesday, April 7th, 2021
Shujaa forward Willy Ambaka in action against Spain during the first leg of the Emriates 7s Invitational tournament in Dubai at the weekend. PD/ALEX NJUE
In summary

Kenya coach Innocent Simiyu is confident the second leg of the Emirates Invitational Sevens  rugby tournament will be executed as planned after a faulty start that saw Shujaa finish third. 

Last weekend saw Kenya register a loss on each day to end up third behind France and eventual champions Argentina at the Sevens stadium in Dubai.

 The second Olympics tune-up tournament in Dubai is slated for tomorrow and Friday. The Shujaa boss noted that his charges made errors in the first leg.

 “The overall performance of the team was good.  We are happy with how players are progressing.

We however made a lot of unforced errors on attack and defense in the first three and a half minutes of the game. This caused us two critical matches. 

We will look into how to improve in the lead up to the games before Thursday kick off,” said Simiyu.

 Prior to the event, Namcos told People Sport he anticipated a tough competition and had a plan to execute in the first two phases of play to gain a crucial control of the game but two injuries and unforced errors shortly after kick off greatly dropped Kenya’s chances of comebacks in the two losses and one draw.

 Shujaa kicked off the tourney with a 39-7 win over Chile in the opener but the second match against France would prove costly despite ending in a 19-19 stalemate.

Kenya’s scoring machine Nelson Oyoo suffered a mild concussion and with the winger out on assessment, his role was handed  to Jacob Ojee and upcoming speedster Derrick Keyoga.

 Simiyu is now short by two cards in his 16-man squad that travelled to Dubai three days to kick off fly after half Sammy Oliech underwent an immediate corrective surgery in Dubai having injured his ankle in training.

 In the first day of the event winger Nelson Oyoo was on course to deliver points for Kenya as seen in Madrid and his absence in the second day of Dubai was felt when Kenya relied on Daniel Taabu’s boots to drill in three conversions that gave Kenya a win by two points over Canada in the quarters while France returned stronger to beat Kenya 17-5 in the semis.

 Taabu’s input in Shujaa’s hunt  on day two saw the 70kg half back kickstart his job by converting the opener try by Billy Odhiambo and scoring two tries and converting them.

Taabu also scored the sole try and conversion in the semis loss against France (17-5) to become Kenya’s most valuable player.