NAIROBI, Kenya, September 22- Head coach Mike Friday hailed the performance of The Morans and Shujaa as both Kenyan teams booked their tickets into the Main Cup quarters of the Safaricom 7s tournament on Saturday.
The two sides, registered victories in their second group stage games with convincing wins over Rwanda and Western Province on Day 2of the competition at Nairobi’s Nyayo National Stadium.
Morans who were the first on the pitch were the stronger against the South African Western Province as they cruised to an emphatic 40-7 victory while Shujaa followed up with a 24-7 triumph over their East African counterparts.
“Everything is going on well so far; the boys are believing in themselves and putting into action what they have been practicing.
“Shujaa were in the group of death and they did well to hold off the strong Samurai and were accurate in all departments,” Friday stated.
The former England coach is confident the national team which will draw players from both The Morans and Shujaa are in good stead ahead of the start of the HSBC World Series in October at the Gold Coast 7s in Australia.
“We still have a few improvements to make on our contact area, for now we are a bit passive and thee is need to be aggressive in the coming games.
“It’s a journey, a learning curve but we have showed great character and particularly the conditioning process that has been under coach Chris Brown is in full display by the boys,” he added.
The Morans win came from tries by Tony Obondo in the first half before Phillipe Mana levelled for the visitors just before the break for a 7-7 score at the breather.
However after the break, the home team supported by the huge crowds at the packed stadium rallied to quick tries from Daniel Sikuta and Dennis Muhanji to restore the lead, before Fabian Olando, Lavin Asego and Dennis Ombachi completed the rout.
Davis Musungu was the first on the score sheet with a try in the first half followed by Michael Agevi as Shujaa went into the beak leading 10-0 against Province.
Albert Irytsman made an early try for the South Africans as they tried to come back after the break but the local charges responded through William Ambaka and Collins Injera to make a final score of 24-7.
In the morning fixtures, Shujaa overcame a stubborn Samurai to post a close 14-12 victory in the first Pool A fixture as Morans humiliated neighbours Uganda Cranes with a 28-0 thrashing in the corresponding Pool B encounter.
Shujaa showed their intention of domination on home soil leading 14-0 at half time through tries from Injera and Ambaka who impressed the home crowd with his blistering run.
Samurai who edged out the home team at last year’s Main Cup semis came back stronger in the second half with Samuel Dickson making two quick tries.
However, the home team managed to hold on to the victory until the final whistle to the relief of the supporters. In their final game, they made it three straight wins after hammering Uganda Cobs 55-0 much to the relish of the crowd.
In their opening encounter Morans begun on a high tempo by stuffing the Cranes with Chris Asego opening the scores early in the game with a try that was converted by his brother Lavin.
Ombachi made the second try which Lavin was on point in the conversion to make it 14-0 before the break.
The Morans continued with their rampage in the second half with more tries from David Ambunya and Kevin Ochieng with Asego and Linus Simiyu converting for the 28-0 victory.
In other results, the developmental side, University Select team were whitewashed 33-0 by South Africa in Pool D as the Chairman Select couldn’t match up to the visiting Bristol Barracudas led by former Kenya 7s captain Humphrey Kanyange going down 31-7 in their Pool C encounter.
Bristol Barracudas 31- 7 Chairman Select
Kenya (Morans) 28 – 0 Uganda Cranes
Samurai 14 – 12 Shujaa
Chairman Select 21 – 19 Spain
Rwanda 7- 40 Kenya
Western Province 7 -24 Shujaa
Hamilton Raiders 15- 21 Chairman Select
Shujaa 50- 0 Uganda Cobs