Amaitsa Hat-Trick Powers Kenya 7s To Opening Victory Against Nigeria

16th September 2023

The Kevin Wambua coached side recorded a 34-10 victory against the West Africans.

Shujaa. PHOTO| World Rugby
Shujaa. PHOTO| World Rugby
  • Nygel Amaitsa, who was among the six debutants named in the squad, scored a hattrick.
  • Vincent Onyala and Festus Shiasi, who is also making his debut, got the other tries.
  • Shujaa next face Namibia at 1350EAT before wrapping day one against Zambia at 1634EAT.

Strathmore Leos ace Nygel Amaitsa instantly showed why he was called up to the men’s national rugby 7s side for the first time as he scored a hattrick to help Shujaa record a commanding 34-10 victory Nigeria in their opening match at the 2023 Rugby Africa 7s Cup being played in Zimbabwe.

In the tournament serving as the African qualifiers for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, Kenya weathered a storming start by Nigeria to get the perfect liftoff in their quest of making the Olympics for a third consecutive time.

It all started when co-captains Tony Omondi and Vincent Onyala combined brilliantly for the opening try which the latter touched down under the posts after a sublime offload by Omondi who had capitalized on the turnover by Patrick Odongo.

Following a successful conversion, the Nigerians hit immediately after as they touched down at the corner to reduce the deficit to 7-5 following an unsuccessful conversion.

Kenya then started making their presence felt in the game with Amaitsa showing some clever footwork that created acres of space for him to easily run into after his man was left for dead.

That would signal the start of what was to come as Onyala bagged his brace before Amaitsa added crossed over the whitewash two more times to complete a perfect first outing in the national team.

Festus Shiasi, who is also making his Shujaa debut, completed the scoring act as Kenya sealed the 34-10 victory in the Pool B opener.

Elsewhere, there were big results for tournament favourites South Africa and reigning champions Uganda over Cote d’Ivoire and Algeria respectively.

The 12-team tournament is serving as the African qualifiers to the 2024 Olympics where only the winner will book the automatic ticket to Paris, France next year.

The second and third placed teams will have to go through a final qualification Repechage tournament in June 2024 where they will join teams from Asia, Europe, Oceania, North America and South America with the winner of that event taking the 12th and final slot to the Olympics.

Round 1 Results

Zimbabwe 12-12 Burkina Faso

Uganda 45-7 Algeria

Zambia 31-12 Namibia

Kenya 34-10 Nigeria

Madagascar 43—5 Tunisia

South Africa 39-0 Ivory Coast

Round 2 Fixtures

Zimbabwe v Algeria | 1244

Uganda v Burkina Faso | 1306

Zambia v Nigeria | 1328

Kenya v Namibia | 1350

Madagascar v Ivory Coast | 1412

South Africa v Tunisia | 1434

Round 3 Fiixtures

Burkina Faso v Algeria | 1550

Namibia v Nigeria | 1612

Kenya v Zambia | 1634

Tunisia v Ivory Coast | 1656

South Africa v Madagascar | 1718

Uganda v Zimbabwe | 1740