Shujaa kicked off their Dubai7s campaign with a narrow 17-12 loss to South Africa on Thursday 5th December at the Sevens Stadium.
The Blitzboks were first to go over the whitewash as a miss one pass while in Shujaa’s 22m handed Ryan Oosthuizen a corner post try. The conversion that followed was short giving them a 5-0 lead. Two minutes later, off a breakdown in Shujaa’s half, Alvin “Buffa” Otieno registered his name on the day one try scorers as he fended off two defenders as he raced down South Africa’s half to score under the posts with Daniel Taabu adding the conversion for a 5-7 score.
Paul Feeney’s charges would then extend their lead to 12-5 off a cross kick from Taabu’s boot whose lucky bounce found Vincent Onyala ready for it. Onyala made his way landing Shujaa’s second try, Taabu’s conversion sailed wide for the 5-12 score at the breather.
Come second half, despite Shujaa’s defensive efforts being put in place, South Africa proved to be a little bit quicker on attack. They sent the ball wide from one end to the next while at the same time closing in to Shujaa’s red zone. SA’s pace and skill were fruitful as Rosco Speckman went over for a center post try leveling the score to 12-12 after Justin Geduld’s conversion was successful. Seabelo Senatla took SA to the five-point lead as he landed a corner post try, the conversion was again short.
A South African knock-on at the restart handed Shujaa an opportunity to level the scores or take the lead. Shujaa kept the ball possession for slightly longer than a minute, as they made their way into South Africa’s half. However, luck was not on their side as a penalty in South Africa’s 22 saw the referee end the match.
They take on England and Spain tomorrow(Friday 6th December) at 12:26pm and 6:32pm respectively.