NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 9 – Kenya kept their dream of a second consecutive Rugby 7s Olympic slot alive after progressing to the semi-finals of the African qualifiers top of Group B with a 100pc record after a 24-7 victory over Uganda in their final group match in Johannesburg on Saturday morning.
Paul Feeney’s charges will now take on Madagascar in teh first semi-final on Saturday at 2:22pm.
Having thrashed Ivory Coast 36-7 in the qualifiers on Friday morning, Shujaa progressed to the group phase where they beat Senegal 50-0 and Namibia 33-0 in the first two group stage matches to assure themselves of a place in the semis.
They only needed to beat Uganda in their final match on Saturday to finish top of the pile and they did so with a well worked 24-7 beating of neighbors Uganda.
Shujaa ran in four tries, two of which were converted while the Ugandans crossed the chalk once and converted.
Alvin Otieno crossed over for Kenya when they won the ball off a Uganda kick off, Otieno picking up the ball and dotting down on the left with Daniel Taabu adding the twos.
Shujaa were reduced to six men few minutes later when Otieno was sent to the bad boys’ chair for a high tackle, but the Ugandans could not take advantage of the numerical edge.
It was Kenya who would score next, also with five men after one of the players went down injured. The Kenyans turned over possession deep in their own half with Taabu running down the middle to dot down under the posts and send the conversion over for a 12-0 lead.
Otieno then came back from the sin bin to engineer Kenya’s third try of the match when he showed good strength to knock down his chasers with Vincent Onyala picking the ball up from the ruck and crossing over, taabu slicing the posts for the twos.
Shujaa took a comfortable 19-0 lead to the break.
The Ugandans however came back stronger in the second half and forced Kenya to play on the back foot. They got their reward when former Kabras Sugar winger Philip Wokarach crossed over after a little dummy sent his markers wide. Jeff Aredo sent over the twos as the scores slimmed to 19-7.
However, Kenya took the game to comfortable distance when Billy Odhiambo stepped off the bench to score the fourth try, showing sheer strength to bump away from his chasers before crossing over.