NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 14 – With only two legs for the 2018/19 HSBC Sevens World Series to conclude, Kenya’s survival to maintain core status still hangs by a thread after only managing to pick two wins in Singapore 7s, finishing 13th to collect three points on Sunday.
This is after Shujaa beat Spain 21-5 in the 13th place-playoff final, a result saw them remain 13th in the standings with 26 points, one ahead of Wales who occupies 14th slot after reaching the Challenge Trophy semi-final, losing 33-12 to Scotland hence collecting vital five points that lifted them off the relegation position.
Japan dropped to the relegation spot, sitting on 22 points after picking only one point, this is after falling 24-31 to Kenya in the 13th place semi-final.
-Shujaa disastrous season-
This season has been disastrous for the Shujaa team who appointed Paul Murunga as the head coach and is yet to reach a Main Cup quarter final this season, a performance that threatens their existence in the core status that they have enjoyed since the tournament’s inception 1999-2000 inaugural season.
Despite the reinforcement of senior players former captain Andrew Amonde, Jeff Oluoch, Dan Sikuta and Nelson Oyoo in the Asian tour (Hong Kong and Singapore) Kenya is yet to impress.
In the Asian tour, they have only managed to collect eight points after bagging five in Hong Kong and now three in Singapore.
The going is even going to be tougher for the Shujaa in the last two legs London and Paris since they are set to be drawn in a tough pool by the virtue of them recording poor results.
At Singapore 7s, where they have fine memories of lifting a first ever Main Cup title in 2016, Kenya did not manage to win a single match after losing all their games in Pool C; suffering a 36-7 defeat to England, 17-14 to USA and 19-14 to Wales.
In the Challenge Trophy Kenya started their campaign with a 24-14 fall to France in the quarters to book a date with Japan in the 13th place semis where they were 31-24 winners to book a date with Spain in the final, winning 24-12.
Against the Spaniards, Shujaa started on a high controlling the first half with two converted tries through Vincent Onyala and Bush Mwale to take a 14-0 lead at the interval.
Spain made five errors in comparison to Kenya’s zero and that proved to be costly for the European side who sits 11th in the standings.
On resumption, Spain pulled one back with an unconverted try but Kenya added another converted try through Daniel Taabu to see Shujaa secure 13th slot.