A brace by Oyoo inspires Shujaa to victory over stubborn Tonga


A brace by Oyoo inspires Shujaa to victory over stubborn Tonga
(FILE)Eroni Sau (L) of Fiji tries to tackle Nelson Oyoo (R) of Kenya during the Cup Final on the third day at the Hong Kong Sevens rugby tournament in Hong Kong on April 8, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / ISAAC LAWRENCE

In Summary

  • Kenya will face Scotland at 5.03am Saturday in the round of 16 after a nervy 19 -7 victory over a stubborn Tonga in the pre-round of 16 opener at the Rugby Sevens World cup in San Francisco, California, USA.
  • Innocent Simiyu rung in the changes in the second half and brought in Jeffrey Oluoch as he sought to marshal Kenya’s attacking set up
 

Bernard Ndong in San Francisco, USA

Kenya will face Scotland at 5.03am Saturday in the round of 16 after a nervy 19 -7 victory over a stubborn Tonga in the pre-round of 16 opener at the Rugby Sevens World Cup in San Francisco, California, USA.

An early injury scare to Kenya’s talisman Collins Injera rung alarm bells in the Shujaa camp, halting the game momentarily as he was attended to, with team doctor Lamech Bokonko giving the thumbs up after assessing the extent of his injury, and the speedster was allowed back in the game.

Kenya went on the attack after a penalty but William Ambaka ran out of turf as he stepped into touch. A poor line out by the Tongans was not well capitalized by Kenya, allowing the pacific islanders to gather the loose ball and score the opening try for a 7-0  lead with Fine Tokai powering his way over the white wash.

Nelson Oyoo reduced the deficit to 2 with a try in the corner flag after a patient build-up initiated by Collins Injera. Eden Agero missed the resultant conversion as Shujaa trailed the pacific islanders 7- 5 at the break.

Innocent Simiyu rung in the changes in the second half and brought in Jeffrey Oluoch as he sought to marshal Kenya’s attacking set up that struggled in the first half. The impact was immediate as Oyoo gave Kenya the lead with the second try, with Sammy Oliech adding the extras.

Then Tongan almost restored their lead but Sitani Tei failed to gather a clever chip that caught the Kenyan defence flat-footed. Deep in the Kenyan 22, Oluoch ran the length of the pitch and realizing that the defence was catching up, offloaded to Eden Agero who popped to Collins Injera to give Kenya a 12-point cushion, the Kenyan camp heaving a sigh of relief.

With seconds to go before the end of the game, Naua Kaloni tried an opportunistic pass to team mate Taniela Samati but it was adjudged forward. Kenya were through to the round of 16 albeit with a lot to ponder after surviving the Tongan scare.

“ We just had to calm ourselves down. The first half we were very scrappy,  but Scotland(whom they face next) are a very good team.They play in the series, so we are going to play to our strengths and do our best. If we bring our best we are going to whitewash them,” Captain Oscar Ayodi told Citizen TV moments after the game.

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Story By Bernard Ndong
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