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October 17, 2018

Simiyu bullish: Shujaa face major test in Cape Town leg this weekend

Shujaa’s Cyprian Kuto outpaces Cape Warriors Jerome Herschel during the 2016 Safari 7s / ENOS TECHE
Shujaa’s Cyprian Kuto outpaces Cape Warriors Jerome Herschel during the 2016 Safari 7s / ENOS TECHE

Kenya Sevens are looking to better on last year’s quarter-final performance in this weekend’s Cape Town Sevens.                                  Shujaa are in Pool ‘A’ alongside hosts and champions South Africa, France and Russia for the two-day tournament that kicks off on Saturday.

“Our key focus in Cape Town is to have the boys consistently perform to their full potential and better on their last year’s cup quarter-final performance,” said head coach Innocent Simiyu. 

Shujaa beat France 33-14, Japan 24-5 and lost 28-22 to Fiji to seal their place in the quarters before being bundled out by New Zealand 28-7 to drop to the fifth place play-off, where they lost to Fiji 33-21in the final. Simiyu said he expects a stern test from the French outfit in their first match.

“The French will be motivated for the game after failing to perform well in Dubai. They will come out firing for this tournament,” added Simiyu.

The team arrived in the Cape Town on Monday evening and have had two training sessions as they acclimatise to the conditions and polish up on some of the mistakes that were evident in the season opener in Dubai last weekend.

KCB’s prop Arthur Owira was a late replacement for Eric Ombasa, who didn’t have his documents in time and failed to travel for the tournament on Tuesday.

Owira travelled with powerhouse forward Oscar Ouma and Menengai Oilers’ Sam Muregi for the two-day event. The trio replace Dennis Ombachi (ankle and shoulder) and Collins Injera (hamstring) both of whom sustained injuries in Dubai.

On the new call-ups, Simiyu said they compliment what they have in the squad.

“Oscar brings leadership, experience and raw power to our game which will be very vital for a good start in Cape Town,” he said.

“Muregi adds pace to the team, his understanding of the game and try scoring ability are second to none while Arthur has had a very good Sevens season with his club, KCB and his work-rate on the pitch will help us a lot at the breakdown.”

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