Shujaa and Lionesses wrapped up their Emirates Invitational 7s campaign in fifth and sixth places respectively on Friday 8th April 2021.After two days of intense rugby at the Sevens stadium that was preceded by four training days at the same venue.
Shujaa kicked off the day with a 12-15 loss to Chile in the cup quarterfinal. “It was quite unfortunate how we executed versus Chile having small and unforced errors which proved to be costly in the end as we dropped to Plate,” said Head Coach Innocent Simiyu. In the plate semifinal, Shujaa faced Spain marking their second meeting this weekend as they met in the pool matches with Shujaa bagging a crucial 17-14 victory.
“We were able to get a number of things right in the Spain match that led us to the 27-15 win. We shall keep on building because we’re using this tournament as a build up for the HSBC and Olympics later in the year,” added Captain Andrew Amonde.
In the plate final, Jacob Ojee, Alvin Otieno and Vincent Onyala landed a try each while youngster Johnstone Olindi landed a brace. Of the six tries, three were successfully converted while Uganda managed to land a single try through Aaron Ofoywroth for a 36-5 full time score in favour of Shujaa.
Shujaa 28 – Uganda 10
Shujaa 21 – Canada 10
Shujaa 17 – Spain 14
Cup QF: Chile 14 – Shujaa 12
Plate SF: Shujaa 27 – Spain 15
Plate Final: Shujaa 36 – Uganda 5
The Lionesses’ weekend had positives of its own as both coach Felix Oloo and captain Philadelphia Olando commended the ladies on the improvements noted within the past two weeks. Much as the scores give a different narrative, the players showed their hunger to win matches this weekend especially in the matches against core teams Canada and USA where they lost 5-22 and 10-22 respectively.
“First and foremost, I have to thank the players for their ability to give the big teams a run for their money. When you compare our scores in Madrid to these ones, the improvement is impressive. We still have to work on our kick offs, as it stands, we’re at 60% and it needs to get higher before the Los Angeles tournament in June,” said Oloo.
Unluckily enough, the Ladies lost the services of Vice Captain Sheila Chajira yesterday. She picked up an injury in the match against Japan and has been advised to rest for a few days before she can get back on the pitch.
Their day two started off with a heartbreaking 12-15 loss to Brazil, followed by the 10-22 loss to USA before a 0-43 loss to Japan that ended their campaign in sixth position.
Canada 22 – Lionesses 5
France 31 – Lionesses 5
Japan 10 – Lionesses 10
Lionesses 12 – Brazil 15
USA 22 – Lionesses 10
Japan 43 – Lionesses 0
The teams traveled back home on Saturday 10th April.