Shujaa optimistic as they take on Argentina, New Zealand and Spain in Cape Town

Friday, December 9th, 2022 05:50 | By
Shujaa co-captain Herman Humwa under a tackle by Argentina forward. PHOTO/courtesy.

The Kenya national rugby sevens team is set to renew their rivalry with Argentina at the Cape Town sevens tournament opener to be hosted at the Cape Town stadium at 3.22pm today.

Shujaa will be seeking to qualify for the main cup quarterfinals in another tough pool C where two wins will guarantee them a top-two finish and enable them to progress while failure will send them back to the 9th-place playoffs.

Last weekend in Dubai, Shujaa put up a brave face against Hong Sevens champions Australia and Great Britain by settling for stalemates but lost one group match to South Africa who went ahead to win the Dubai leg and will be the favourites to win at home in a competition that was last played in 2019 when New Zealand won by a conversion after beating the Blitzboks 7-5.

Shujaa will later on Saturday take on the defending champions at 10.07 am and later wrap up their playoff fate against Spain at 3.26 pm. The hosts on the other end will have to conquer group A where Fiji, France and Canada will not be friendly.

The Kenyans head coach Damian McGrath told People Sports that the recent event was a tough assignment for the team and termed the upcoming group as ‘incredibly tough’ but promising owing to how the team performed against the top dogs whom they are done reviewing how they can improve should they meet again during the playoffs of the third stop of the world sevens series.

“We successfully conducted our first training session on our arrival and we are done with the recovery and reviews part so now we are focused on another incredibly tough group with New Zealand, Argentina and Spain. The weather is sunny and it’s just perfect and we prefer this compared to when we played the sevens world cup here.”

The tactician collected a couple of supporting data that point out another opportunity for the team to improve on the previous leg where the team managed 5 points that wrote off Hong Kong 7s 15th place finish to collect just a point.

Shujaa captain Nelson Oyoo is not worried by the influx of debutants in the team that will be four inexperienced players who earned their debut this season.

“We all appreciate what the new players are bringing in the team and how they are showcasing their skill and talent and I can say that I believe they are gelling with the experienced players quite well and they are already earning starts in a couple of matches and we strongly believe we will be a greater force by the end of the season.” Shujaa captain Nelson Oyooo told People Sports.

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