Five ‘newbies’ get taste of the big stage at the Vancouver Sevens
Kenya rugby sevens men’s team head coach Innocent Simiyu is pleased by the display of five debutants in the opener of the 2021 HSBC series in Vancouver, Canada.
Shujaa finished second in Pool A after kicking off the event unbeaten on the opening day before losing the final pool match to South Africa to be paired with USA, a match that was played at 7.42pm yesterday.
The five newbies are Alvin Marube, Derrick Keyoga, Timothy Mmasi, Levy Amunga and Mark Kwemoi.
Speaking to the tactician on the debutants role after their pool finish, Simiyu now hopes they can be consistent in their delivery.
“They have had a good start and we are quite happy so far and I believe they will be more consistent in their game as they keep playing,” Simiyu told People Sport.
Four debutants scored a try each when Kenya downed Mexico 45-7 at the BC Place stadium to confirm their quarterfinals place thanks to the second win that followed their 17-5 win over Spain in a tense opener.
The sixth meeting between Kenya and South Africa this year ended up in disappointment following a 33-14 loss to the Blitzboks.
Both sides were unbeaten before the final pool match to leave the match unpredictable but Shujaa kicked off on the wrong foot and conceded two tries before Willy Ambaka was sent to the bin for a ball tapping infringement that cost Kenya in a first half the Boks led by 28 points off four converted tries.
In the second half, however, it was a Kenyan show as coach Simiyu charges scored two converted tries while the continental rivals managed one unconverted try.
Kenya scored through Alvin Otieno and Marube after a series of attacks.
Spain made the top eight cut thanks to a big 57-0 win over Mexico to snatch one of the two best losers tickets to the knockouts where Kenya was expected to avenge the Tokyo Olympics final pool match loss to the Eagles.