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Friday, May 8, 2015

Kenya Sevens Face Litmus Test in Glasgow and London Legs

Photo: WRU

It has been a season where the Kenya Sevens team has not lived up to its top billing in the IRB Sevens campaign.

Shujaa who finished 7th last season are currently sitting nervously in the 13th position, 51 points shy of the 84 they amassed last season with only two legs to go.

Having started the season by claiming only two points in the opening Gold Coast Sevens in Australia and the same number of points at the Dubai Sevens, Felix ‘Totty’ Ochieng’s side have failed to recover from that false start.

They head into this weekend’s Glasgow Sevens, the penultimate step before the season-ending London next weekend, needing a little more grit and tenacious final kick to finish in a respectable position.

The first hurdle is in Scotland where Shujaa have been thrown in a tough dungeon. In their first match (2.20pm) the boys face the gargantuan task of upstaging defending champions New Zealand who are currently placed 3rd on the log. Kenya have met the All Blacks 28 times in the IRB Series and have lost 24 winning only thrice with one match drawn.

After that, they square off against Series leaders South Africa at 5.04pm. The Springboks lead 22-4 against their East African counterparts and will be favorites to extend that record having already overpowered Kenya twice (19-5 & 26-0) when they met in Wellington and lately Tokyo legs.

Any result other than defeat against New Zealand and South Africa who are both battling for the title will be an accomplishment for Kenya.

On paper, however, Shujaa are expected to brawl for the third spot with Samoa in Pool B. Samoa, 9th on the log and 23 points ahead of Kenya, have blown hot and cold this season but will head into the 8.15pm match in a better shape. They have won 18 of their 23 clashes versus Kenya but the Shujaa have won the last two clashes both coming this year.

Ochieng ringed five changes to his squad ahead of the last two legs. Biko Adema and Dennis Ombachi will be handed their debut this season while Tony Onyango and Augustine Lugonzo return from injury. Oscar Ayodi also made it to the squad having missed Hong Kong and Tokyo legs due to academic commitments.

The five to miss out on the traveling party are injured Lavin Asego, Leonard Mugaisi, Tony Owuor, Felix Ayange and Patrice Agunda.

The Squad to Glasgow and London 7s
Andrew Amonde – Captain
Collins Injera
Daniel Sikuta
Humphrey Kayange
Dennis Ombachi
Tony Opondo
Biko Adema
Michael Wanjala
Oscar Ayodi
Billy Odhiambo
Bush Mwale
Augustine Lugonzo

And That's thesteifmastertake!!