Fiji deny Shujaa at final hurdle

Shujaa’s gallant run at the Canada Sevens ended at the last hurdle, finishing second overall after a 31-12 cup final defeat to Fiji on Monday morning.

Nelson Oyoo started Kenya’s first attack with an excellent turnover at the breakdown. Quick hands kept the ball moving at pace and a final overhead pass out to Willy Ambaka ensured that he had the time and space to surge over the line. Samuel Oliech added the conversion.

Fiji’s responded with a converted try of their own.

Eroni Sau’s offload off the deck was absolutely outstanding and it found Josua Vakurunabili who didn’t need to break his stride to score. Vatemo Ravouvou added the conversion to tie the match at 7-7.

Kenya knew that they had to be so clinical in this final and they were certainly doing that. Oliech produced a monster fend and touched down at pace. This time the conversion didn’t have the distance and Kenya had to settle for five points.

The last word of the half went to Fiji after a Kenyan error off the restart. Sevuloni Mocenacagi plucked the ball  athletically out of the air, went through the gears and leveled the scores going into the break, all square at 12-12 with all to play for in the second half.

Fiji enjoyed  a purple patch after the restart and took their output up a gear. Mocenacagi soon added his second, Amenoni Nasilasila and Alasio Naduva then provided electric impact off the bench before Naduva added their fourth try to go 26-12 up.

It was soon 31-12 to Fiji. They kicked for the corner off a penalty and went to the short side of a well-taken lineout. Paula Dranisinukula had his eyes firmly set on the line and Kenya’s final defenders just could not stop him.

The Kenyans were still fighting, staying hungry and tenacious despite the score. Ambaka flew down the left-wing and looked like he was to go over to give Kenya the last say on the scoreboard however the determination of Jerry Tuwai was shown in full force.  Tuwai bundled his opponent into touch and after that his side controlled possession until the hooter sounded.

The full-time whistle signaled Fiji’s victory and as a result they became to the first team to record two tournament titles this season. As for Kenya’s Shujaa, they live to fight another day, Innocent Simiyu must be proud of his charges performance and will certainly want more as the series heads into its final four rounds. He will also keep tabs Commonwealth Games and Rugby World Cup Sevens as well, looking to best the best out of Shujaa.

News Reporter