Kenya 7s fail to dance their way past the group stage

Shujaa lost; 14-12 to USA, 14-5 to South Africa and 12-7 to Ireland

Tokyo , Japan - 26 July 2021; Kenya players run out before the rugby sevens men's pool A match between South Africa and Kenya at the Tokyo Stadium during the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo By Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

The Kenya Rugby 7s have been eliminated from the ongoing Tokyo Olympics after three consecutive losses to USA, South Africa and Ireland.

A Vincent Onyala try in the dying minutes was not enough to kick start a come back as Shujaa bowed out of the Olympics after a 12-7 loss to Ireland.

Kenya went into the game knowing that they needed to win by any means possible if they were to progress but it was the Irish who got off to a dream start with a try in the first minute.

A fine piece of skill from Terry Kennedy opened a gap for Hugo Lennox who drove for the line and scored the opening try, although the conversion was missed.

Just over a minute later and Ireland had their second try of the match, with Harry McNulty capitalising on a Kenyan handling error and going over, before Billy Dardis added the extras.

Ireland were in complete control in the first-half, penning Kenya back inside our own half and forcing us into making some very uncharacteristic errors.

Jordan Conroy had a decent chance to add to Ireland's tally early in the second-half but was unable to make the most of it as a fine tip-tackle halted his run with the line beckoning and his pass was intercepted.

As the clock ticked down, just like the previous two games against USA and South Africa, Shujaa stood tall and showed their might.

A crooked Irish line-out throw in their own half gave Kenya a scrum with a minute left on the clock and from that scrum, they split the Irish defence for Vincent Onyala to touch down under the posts.

Daniel Taabu kicked the conversion with less than 30 seconds to go but it was too little too late.

After the game, captain Amonde expressed his disappointment for not being able to lead his team to a first ever Olympic medal.

“For some of us this was our last tournament and we really wanted to lead the boys to the final, but I am disappointed I was not able to do that even as I bid farewell to the national team,” he said.

Kenya is scheduled to play their final match against home team, Japan to decide who will occupy the positions 9-12.

“We really wanted to make it to the next stage of the competition but we couldn’t. We knew it was going to be a tough pool and we now have to pick ourselves up for the next thing,” said Collins Injera.

Coach Innocent Simiyu explained the loss boils down to the young Shujaa team not taking their chances as well as poor build up towards the tournament.

“We did not do well in the restarts and also in the scrums and went more into contact instead of looking for space.

“However we also have to accept the fact that we just started preparation only the other day for the Olympics while the other teams have had up to four years building up for this,” Simiyu said.


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