Shujaa to face tough Fijians in Las Vegas Sevens


Shujaa to face tough Fijians in Las Vegas Sevens
Kenya's Jeffery Oluoch is tackled during the World Rugby Sevens Series match between Samoa and Kenya at Waikato Stadium in Hamilton on February 3, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / MICHAEL BRADLEY

In Summary

  • Kenya rugby sevens team, popularly known as Shujaa, have been pooled against Hamilton Sevens champions Fiji in the fifth round of HSBC World Series
  • The fifth round of the Series will take place in Las Vegas.
  • Shujaa will have to look out for Alosio Naduva who was the man of the tournament in New Zealand.

 

Kenya rugby sevens team, popularly known as Shujaa, have been pooled against Hamilton Sevens champions Fiji in the fifth round of HSBC World Series to take place in Las Vegas between March 3-5.

Other teams in the tough-looking pool A are France and Russia.

Kenya’s fierce rivals in the Las Vegas Sevens will, however, be the Fijians who won their last outing, defeating current leaders South Africa 24-17 to claim the overall crown at the Hamilton Sevens.

Kenya has only won once in their last five matches against Fiji, back in April 2016, when they wrote history by winning the Singapore Sevens after they defeated the latter 30-7.

Their last meeting was in the third round of Sydney Sevens where Fiji defeated Shujaa 24-5 in the semifinals of the fifth place.

Shujaa will have to look out for Alosio Naduva who was the man of the tournament in New Zealand.

The Fijian flyer showed how dangerous he is in the finals against South Africa with his incredible skills and pace.

Shujaa coach Innocent Simiyu will have to use his training camp to sharpen his defensive skills to curb Naduva’s skills and pace.

Kenya is also buoyed by a better record they have against group rival France. The two have clashed on five occasions with Kenya winning three of those matches.

Their last meeting was at the recent Sydney Sevens in January where the Innocent Simiyu coached boys won 17-14.

Although France sits two places behind Kenya, they are also six points adrift of Simiyu’s charges.

The French performed well in their first three outings this season before their unconvincing result in Hamilton, collecting just three points.

On the other hand, the lowly positioned Russia sit at position 15 on the log with just eight points and will be keen to make amends in this competition.

Slotted as the weakest team in the pool, Russia has won two out of their last five meetings with Kenya.

With the parings done, Simiyu is now expected to stick to his game plan in Hamilton after his team maintained possession in all their pool matches.

He is expected to fix his defence after small mistakes cost them the fifth-place finish against Samoa.

Drawn in pool A, Shujaa finished sixth at the Hamilton Sevens last weekend, collecting their highest points so far this season after reaching the finals of fifth place.

LAS VEGAS SEVENS POOLS

POOL A

Fiji

Kenya

France

Russia

POOL B

South Africa

England

Canada

Wales

POOL C

Australia

Samoa

USA

Spain

POOL D

New Zealand

Scotland

Argentina

Uruguay (invitational)

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Story By Kenerickson Njeru
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