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Shujaa collapse against Wales, end Cup hopes

Kenya team huddle before the game against Fiji on day one of the HSBC Sydney Sevens 2020 men’s competition at Bankwest Stadium on 1 February, 2020 in Sydney, Australia. Photo credit: Mike Lee – KLC fotos for World Rugby

NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 1 – Two yellow cards in the last minute of the match proved catastrophic for Shujaa as they dropped a 21-12 lead to lose 26-21 to Wales in their second Group A match at the Sydney leg of the World Sevens Series on Saturday.

Nelson Oyoo and Johnstone Olindi were sent to the sinbin with seconds on the clock and the Welsh side took maximum advantage to score two quick tries and earn victory, condemning Kenya to their second successive loss, having gone down to Fiji in their first match.

Shujaa started well with Amonde dotting down on the right after some brilliant play from Collins Injera who cited space ahead of him before putting the skipper through with a pretty kick pass. Daniel Taabu added the twos to hand Shujaa a 7-0 lead.

But Wales struck back, Will Jones dotting down on the right. Injera then made a brilliant recovery run to disorient Jay Jones as he ran through from a kick pass to try and dot down, but he was taken off balance by Injera’s tackle.

But, Wales ensured they went to the break in the lead. Ben Roach dotted down for them after a little offload from Daf Smith who had run towards the try box but pulled down by another superb Injera pass.

But, there were no covering runners as Smith picked the ball and offloaded easily plus a conversion with Wales going to the break 12-7 up.

Fiji’s Vilimoni Botitu tackles against Kenya’s Jeff Oluoch on day one of the HSBC Sydney Sevens 2020 men’s competition at Bankwest Stadium on 1 February, 2020 in Sydney, Australia. Photo credit: Mike Lee – KLC fotos for World Rugby

In the second half, Shujaa were reduced to six when Geoffrey Okwach was sent to the sin bin for a high tackle, but Shujaa still managed to push into the lead. Injera dotted down his first try of the game with a brilliant darting run down the left after a quick start to a set piece.

With the conversion from Olindi going through, Shujaa led 14-12 with a man down. Taabu then stretched the lead further when he turned over possession from a rack before taking on a run down through the middle.

With a 21-12 lead and the clock ticking down, victory was nigh for Shujaa.

But, Oyoo and Olindi were shown yellow, allowing Wales a two-man advantage. They took maximum use with Luke Treharne going over and the conversion good for a 21-19 score line with the buzzer already off.

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From the restart, Walkes turned over possession despite Kenya winning the jump, Ben Roach picking the ball from the overturned possession to hurt Kenya.

Shujaa will now face New Zealand early Sunday morning, but it will all be for pride as their chances of the Main Cup semi are up in smoke.

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