Shujaa finished third in the first weekend of the Emirates Invitational 7s after beating Japan 31-14 at the Sevens Stadium.
Alvin Otieno was first on the score sheet in this match as he fended off his defender and made his way to the try box, Taabu converted giving Shujaa an early 7-0 lead. Japan quickly spotted a gap in Shujaa’s defense and they exploited it scoring a converted try that leveled the scores to 7-7. Just before the breather, Alvin Otieno games several meters as Shujaa was attacking before he offloaded to Vincent Onyala who scored the second converted try. HT score reading 7-14 in favour of Shujaa.
A Shujaa team try kicked off the second half as the interplay between five of the seven players set up Bush Mwale to land the third converted try. In under a minute, Onyala had landed his second try but conversion was unsuccessful. Scores now read 26-7 but Japan put up a spirited fight, attacking any gaps they spotted in Shujaa’s defense line. They landed their second converted try but Shujaa wasn’t done as Otieno scored the final try in this match securing the 31-14 win. In the semifinal, Shujaa lost 5-17 to France with Daniel Taabu scoring a last minute try.
Earlier in the Cup quarterfinal, Shujaa beat Canada 21-19 securing their semifinal slot. Vice Captain Billy Odhiambo landed the first try that were soon complemented by Daniel Taabu’s brace. Taabu converted all three tries securing the victory.
“Overall performance by the boys was good. We had some few lapses in two games that ended up costing us but the boys played well. For now we try to go higher, if we can execute better at those critical moments of the game, I believe we have what it takes to win the cup,” said Coach Innocent Simiyu.
He also added that Daniel Taabu had a blinder of a performance this past weekend.
The Lionesses wrapped up their weekend without a victory but the technical team has noted there have been some improvements compared to the Madrid7s.
“Our performance in this second week will depend on our recovery protocols and getting our basic rugby skills right. We will ensure the players continue recovering well. We’re also working on our breakdown-realignment and quick reaction to every situation, which is an area that needs to be improved on,” said Coach Felix Oloo.
Commenting on his stand out players this weekend, he stated that it was a team effort as different players stood out in different matches but it was Sheila Chajira who was consistent throughout the weekend. “Sheila had many carries and line breaks in the majority of the games. Despite the scores, there’s a lot of improvement noted within the team. Stellah’s performance in the first match was very good, we have Janet Okello who took charge of the play making role excellently in the USA match. Cynthia Camilla was also very solid with her ball carries,”
Day two scorecards
Cup QF: Shujaa 21 – Canada 19
Cup SF: Shujaa 5 – France 17
3rd/4th: Shujaa 31 – Japan 14
Pool match 4: Brazil 17 – Lionesses 5
Pool match 5: France (2) 31 – Lionesses 12
Pool match 6: France (1) 43 – Lionesses 0
Tournament 2 of the Competitive training camp will be on Thursday 8th and Friday 9th.