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Australia curtail Shujaa’s run in Singapore

Nelson Oyoo scored for Kenya on day one of the HSBC Singapore Sevens, round eight of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series. Photo: World Rugby / Martin Seras Lima

NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 15 – Kenya will need to win their last match against Samoa to keep their hopes of defending the Singapore Sevens crown on track after losing their second group match, going down 29-7 to Australia.

Shujaa would have sailed into the Main Cup quarters had they beaten the Aussie after starting off their title defense on a sound footing with a resounding 22-7 win over Argentina in the first match at 6am.

Contrary to how they started the first game of the day, Shujaa found themselves trailing right after kick off.

John Porch touched down under the posts after the Australians who finished third in Hong Kong last weekend won the ball at kick off, showing some good burst of pace catching the Kenyan backline flat footed. Tom Lucas added in the extras for a 7-0 lead.

The Aussie continued with their impressive start and they went 12-0 up with Henry Hutchinson adding his name on the try-sheet. After a turnover, the Aussie patiently built up and Hutchinson found some space on the left touching down easily.

Kenya should have reduced the deficit after winning the ball from the restart, but Sammy Oliech’s pass to Eden Agero who had broken away was adjudged to have been forward and penalized, Australia winning back possession.

They made use with another patient build up seeing Hutchinson add his second of the morning on the same side he had touched down before, Australia going to the break 17-0 up.

At the start of the second half, Hutchinson completed his hatrick after a little offload from Harry Taylor who did well to step in and out and avoid tackles from Nelson Oyoo and Billy Odhiambo. Lucas’ effort at the conversion was wide but Australia stayed clear at 22-0 up.

Kenya picked up some pace with an attempt of cutting out the huge deficit and Oyoo re-lived his title winning try from Singapore last year, showing superb burst of pace and strength to run down the left evading tackles before running under the posts to touch down. Agero added in the extras for a 22-7 score.

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But Shujaa’s little hope of a comeback with the clock ticking down was thwarted with Australia stretching 29-7 up, Liam McNamara touching down from a Hutchinson offload after the Australians had stretched Kenya wide.

Shujaa will face Samoa in the final group match at 12:56pm and will need to win to book a slot in the Main Cup Quarters.

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