Shujaa set targets

Alvin Otieno challenges Cape warrior Tiaan Swanepoel a past action / ENOS TECHE
Alvin Otieno challenges Cape warrior Tiaan Swanepoel a past action / ENOS TECHE

Shujaa are seeking to bounce back from the shambolic display in Dubai last week as they line up today for the Cape Town Sevens. Paul Murunga’s charges lost all the six matches last week in Dubai and lie bottom on the log with a point.

They face formidable opposition in the mother city, starting with last weekend’s Dubai semifinalists England at 12:21pm.

Kenya have only beaten England once in the last nine encounters, winning 12-0 in the main cup quarterfinals in Vancouver in March.

In the last meeting at the London Sevens, Kenya lost 38-12. Shujaa will have to keep an eye on speed star Dan Norton, play-maker Tom Mitchell, Tom Bowen and Richard De Carpentier if they harbour any hopes of snatching victory in the encounter.

Shujaa face Olympic champions Fiji next in the second preliminary match at 3:20pm. The two sides clashed last week in Dubai with the Pacific Islanders winning 43-12.

The two sides clashed three times last season with the Fijians winning the Vancouver and Hong Kong finals 31-12 and 24-12 respectively and edging Kenya 24-5 in Sydney.

Kenya’s final match will be against France at 6:41pm. The two teams met last week with the Europeans winning 21-17. Shujaa had a decent record against the Europeans last season. Kenya beat France 34-0 in Singapore, won 17-14 in Sydney and 12-7 in Vancouver. France won twice 21-14 in Cape Town and 19-14 in Las Vegas.

Speaking from Cape Town on the eve of the tournament, head coach Paul Murunga was optimistic that his charges will bounce back. “The boys have worked hard this week in regard to defence and tackling and we expect to see a competitive side play this weekend,” he added.

Murunga said the introduction of rookie Vincent Onyala of KCB and the experienced Cyprian Kuto of Quins as the 13th player in the squad, gives the team options and brings a competitive edge to the side.

“It’s good to have them in camp. They have brought a competitive edge in training and strengthened one or two problems areas we had last week in Dubai,” added Murunga.

Skipper Eden Agero said the young players have learnt from last week’s display and were willing to correct the errors.

“It’s been a steep learning curve for them and they will be better players in their careers going forward,” added Agero.