Shujaa returned to the country on Tuesday 14 March 2017 from the fifth and sixth rounds of the 2016/17 HSBC Sevens World Series and Kenya Rugby caught up with Head Coach Innocent Simiyu at the Jomo Kenyatta Airport where he talked about the team’s showing in North America.
“We were quite unfortunate in Las Vegas, we only lost one game. We should have been able to qualify, but it’s the nature of the game.”
“Vancouver can be summed up to two moments that made us not qualify, the yellow card against England…it made us lose control of the game and we couldn’t recover after that. A decision went against Bush Mwale with a minute to play against South Africa and it ideally changed the game. Those two key moments were quietly costly for us but we pick up, we learn.”
Commenting on the Hong Kong Sevens draw where Shujaa have been pooled with South Africa, Canada and France in Pool B, Simiyu said, “ The key thing with this pool is that we have to qualify…because the teams that we play are all in the jam…any good performance in any of the two upcoming tours can lift us to the top eight.”
Shujaa, currently 12th on the log with 40 points, won the Challenge Trophy Final at the USA Sevens, beating Samoa 21-14 before falling 7-26 to the same side at the semifinal stage of the Canada Sevens Challenge Trophy.
The team’s next assignments are at the seventh and eighth rounds of the series in Hong Kong and Singapore next month.