NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 23- Kenya’s Shujaa began their hunt for this year’s Safari Sevens title on a high with a 45-0 thumping of Rwanda at the Moi Sports Centre Kasarani on Saturday morning.
Leonard Mugaisi scored a hatrick of tries with Cyprian Kuto striking a brace while Frank Wanyama and Graham Bunyasi all added to the huge haul.
Head coach Benjamin Ayimba was impressed with the performance of his charges despite facing a relatively easier opponent and he believes it has given his side a good footing to hunt for the first title since 2013.
“It is always important to start with a win and this gives us some very good morale. We played really well especially on the breakdowns and we used the spaces well. It is also great to see the new players getting to do their thing quite well and I am looking forward to a very good tournament,” Ayimba told Capital Sport.
“We can win this title but we need to go a step at a time. The competition is tough and we need to be alert in all matches,” he added.
Wanyama began the mauling with a touch down on the far right after a good offload from Brian Tanga who had swayed to the right after winning possession on the left. Tanga’s attempt on the conversion went wide.
Leonard Mugaisi made it 10-0 down the posts after a good spirited run from the halfway line and Tanga converted for a 12-0 lead. Cyprian Kuto read from the same script in Kenya’s third try, kicking away from the Rwandese players powerfully with Tanga adding the extras taking the scores to 17-0.
Mugaisi dotted his second of the morning after running straight down the middle from a quick start to a foul with the Rwandese having been reduced to six men with one of their men sent to the sin bin. Tanga did his work perfectly converting for a 24-0 half time lead.
In the second half, Ayimba rested most of his regulars like skipper Andrew Amonde, Wanyama, Mugaisi, and Willy Ambaka while he gave a run in to the likes of Eden Agero, Bunyasi and Alvin Otieno.
The strong Kenyans continued in their strong start in the second period, Kuto touching down and Tanga converting for a 31-0 lead. Mugaisi stretched the lead further with a simple touch down and Agero converting as Kenya went 38-0 up.
Bunyasi ensured he did not leave out empty handed on his debut after being picked out from a superb sprint from Agero, who complimented his effort with a conversion for a full time score of 45-0.
Kenya will play Cape Warriors in their second group match at 3:14pm.
“It is going to be a very tough match because most of the players are from Western Province which is a good side. We need to keep our structure, and a win in that match will give us a huge confidence boost,” Ayimba noted.
Reigning National Sevens Series circuit champions Homeboyz started their campaign poorly with a 14-7 loss at the hands of Western Province.