Oliech to the rescue as Shujaa sail to Challenge semis


Shujaa hurdle before kick off of their London 7s clash against Portugal. PHOTO/World Rugby
Shujaa hurdle before kick off of their London 7s clash against Portugal. PHOTO/World Rugby

The national rugby sevens team Shujaa eked out a nervy 19-17 win over Scotland on Sunday in the quarter-finals of the Vancouver challenge trophy to book a semis date with Samoa.

With whistle in the referee’s mouth for the final blow and the game deadlocked at 17-17, Sammy Oliech held his nerve to deliver the all-important conversion and snatch the victory right at the death to cap a dramatic finish to the close contest.

Kenya dominated possession for about 2 minutes but Nelson Oyoo knocked on the ball after a simple pass by Eden Agero in the Scottish 22 with the try line begging for the speedster.

Miscommunication in the Kenyan defense allowed Scotland’s Ally Miler to spot a gap to score a converted try.

Kenya’s riposte was immediate as some simple interplay between Eden Agero, Oscar Ayodi and Collins Injera culminated in space for Injera to sprint the length of the pitch to restore parity as he notched up his tally in the overall try scoring standings to 244.

Dougie Fife scored his 3rd try at the Vancouver sevens and Scotland’s second against Kenya after a patient build up to restore their lead 12 -7 as Kenya’s defense scrambled to settle after a scrappy build up.

In the second half Kenya’s strength in the breakdown culminated in an attacking platform but William Ambaka only needed to have downward pressure on the ball after breaching the Scottish defense but he lost control of the ball at the worst time possible.

Scotland secured possession once again but a weak tackle by Nelson Oyoo gifted James Flemming the opportunity to score his side’s third try for a 17 – 7 advantage.

Innocent Simiyu rung in the changes and the fresh legs added fresh ideas as Dan Sikuta timed his run to perfection following a pass by another substitute Augustine lugonzo to reduce the deficit to 5 points as Oliech failed to convert the crucial additional two points.

A patient build up utilizing the short side as opposed to going wide on attack culminated in a try by Frank Wanyama to draw the two sides level 17 – 17 with the final whistle resounding in the distance.

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Story By Bernard Ndong
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