Shujaa conquer the Scot, book semis date with familiar foes New Zealand


Shujaa conquer the Scot, book semis date with familiar foes New Zealand
Fiji's Paula Dranisinukula (L), slows the pace of Kenya's Samuel Ngethe during the HSBC Canada Men's Sevens in BC Place Stadium in Vancouver, B.C.Canada, March 11, 2018. Vancouver is the 6th round, played March 10-11, 2018, in the HSBC Men's Sevens 10 round world series. / AFP PHOTO / Don MacKinnon

In Summary

  • The national sevens team Shujaa inflicted Scotland 19-12  to storm into the ongoing Hong Kong Sevens Main Cup semi-finals early Sunday.
  • With whistle in the referee’s mouth for the final blow and the game deadlocked at 12-12, Menengai Cream Homeboyz fast rising youngster Jeff Oluoch held his nerve to deliver the all-important converted try by Sammy Oliech to snatch the victory right at the death to cap a dramatic finish to the close contest.
  • The result ensured Shujaa will now meet a youthful but strong New Zealand in the last four as Fiji meets champions and series leaders South Africa in the other semifinals in a repeat of Vancouver Sevens pairings.

The national sevens team Shujaa inflicted Scotland 19-12  to storm into the ongoing Hong Kong Sevens Main Cup semi-finals early Sunday.

With whistle in the referee’s mouth for the final blow and the game deadlocked at 12-12, Menengai Cream Homeboyz fast rising youngster Jeff Oluoch held his nerve to deliver the all-important converted try by Sammy Oliech to snatch the victory right at the death to cap a dramatic finish to the close contest.

The result ensured Shujaa will now meet a youthful but strong New Zealand in the last four as Fiji meets champions and series leaders South Africa in the other semifinals in a repeat of Vancouver Sevens pairings.

Kenya Harlequins burly winger Willy Ambaka opened the scoring for Shujaa with Impala Saracens fly half  Sammy Oliech converting a complex conversion for a 7-0 lead only for Jamie Ferndale to respond for Scotland with two quick tries which Ruaridh Jackson converted to take the scores at 12-7, to the advantage of the Scottish, with a few minutes to the end of first half.

Skipper Oscar Ouma was not going to let his teammates down as he took the ball deep down Shujaas 22 yard to sprint towards the try line and restore parity,leveling the scores at 12-all heading to the intervals.

Shujaa stood firm on their defence line to stop the sleek attack and possession of the ball by the Scottish.

With only two minutes left on the stopwatch, it was a well balanced game on a knife-edge; Shujaa standing stiff in the wake of incessant Scottish pressure that saw scrumhalf Injera steal in on the blind but his final delivery to Ambaka just bubbled away.

A resilient Kenyan defence saw them receive a few punches; the scoreboard not altering and Shujaa stood compact to win a much needed scrum down with only a minute to go.

The burly Shujaa forwards led by skipper Oscar Ouma and previous captain Andrew Amonde and the strongly built Willy Ambaka ensured Kenya won the scrum down which Injera passing to Agero who put into the path of a charging Oluoch who showed skill to run over a few Scotland defenders without being driven out of play to score under the posts .

It is the second time this season in a row that Kenya has qualified for the Main Cup semi-final since 2016 when they won the Singapore Sevens title.

Shujaa books a date with New Zealand in the Cup Semis at 11:03 am EAT, New Zealand, on their way to the semis, thrashed USA 35-7 .

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Story By Benson Mbare
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