Wounded Shujaa Must Better Japan In Paris To Avoid Shameful Relegation

May 27 - by Mutwiri Mutuota for SportPesa News

Paul Murunga’s men landed a difficult Pool B of the Paris 7s where they were paired with tournament defending champions South Africa, Wales and beaten London cup finalists, Australia

Fiji's Aminiasi Tuimaba races away from the Kenya defense for a try on day one of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series at Twickenham Stadium in London on 25 May, 2019. PHOTO Mike Lee/KLC fotos for World Rugby

  • Elsewhere, Fiji (164) who took over at the summit of the World Series standings, USA (162), New Zealand (143) and South Africa (131) secure automatic rugby 7s tickets for Tokyo 2020 Olympics with a round to spare after assuring themselves a top-four finish in the 2018/19 Series
  • In spite of the latest setback, the London 7s performance was one of the most spirited in a season of few positives as 13th-placed Wales, the other side threatened with relegation, opening a three-point gap with Shujaa after collecting five at Twickenham
  • Folau Niua burrowed past three France players to set them on their way but Danny Barrett stole the show in the first half, bulldozing his way through twice to make it 19-0 at the break

NAIROBI, Kenya- Kenya Shujaa must now finish above Japan this weekend in Paris, France to avoid relegation from the HSBC World Sevens Series after clinching only a point at the London 7s penultimate round in Twickenham.

Paul Murunga’s men landed a difficult Pool B of the Paris 7s where they were paired with tournament defending champions South Africa, Wales and beaten London cup finalists, Australia in the 10th and final round of this season’s series.

Elsewhere, Fiji (164) who took over at the summit of the World Series standings, USA (162), New Zealand (143) and South Africa (131) secure automatic rugby 7s tickets for Tokyo 2020 Olympics with a round to spare after assuring themselves a top-four finish in the 2018/19 Series.

READ ALSO: Shujaa Implode Against France, Tumble Out Of London 7s Cup

Following the London 7s outing at Twickenham, 14th-placed Shujaa (27) are only two points above Japan (25), the team that occupies the final relegation place.

On Sunday’s Day 2 of London 7s, Kenya went down 21-29 to Scotland in the Challenge Trophy despite a brace of tries from former skipper Andrew Amonde and another from Jeff Oluoch. Daniel Taabu and Johnstone Olindi added the extras.

Murunga’s outfit dropped down to the 13th-place semis against Japan where their London 7s charge ended in a discouraging 17-26 loss.

Shujaa had battled to draw the first half 14-14 but as has been so often this season, Japan capitalised on ball handling errors to punish the Kenyans.

Paris showdown

In spite of the latest setback, the London 7s performance was one of the most spirited in a season of few positives as 13th-placed Wales, the other side threatened with relegation, opening a three-point gap with Shujaa after collecting five at Twickenham.

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In the race for the series crown, Fiji will take a two-point lead over USA to the final event in Paris.

It all came down to the final match at Twickenham after the Americans sealed third place at the London7s, with Fiji knowing defeat would leave their rivals still at the summit with one round to go. 

If there were any nerves, they certainly were not apparent in the Cup final as Fiji romped to a 43-7 success over Australia.

"Obviously we found it tough in the first four or five minutes when Australia put something in – we knew they're a good side and a tough side to play against – so we knew that we needed to get some scores on the board, and we did it with some style,” Fiji head coach Gareth Baber said.

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With every point potentially vital heading to Paris, USA secured third place with a dominant display against France. 

Folau Niua burrowed past three France players to set them on their way but Danny Barrett stole the show in the first half, bulldozing his way through twice to make it 19-0 at the break. 

Fiji captain Paula Dranisinukula celebrate the cup final win over Australia on day two of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series at Twickenham Stadium in London on 26 May, 2019. PHOTO: Mike Lee/KLC fotos for World Rugby


Maceo Brown and Steve Tomasin joined the party to set Mike Friday's men up nicely for the Paris showdown for the title with a 31-14 stroll.