Abukuse dazzles as Kenya stuns Australia in dream LA Sevens start

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RUGBY Abukuse dazzles as Kenya stuns Australia in dream LA Sevens start

Imran Otieno 20:00 - 25.02.2023

This marks Kenya's only second win in the series this season.

After previous torrid displays in the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, Dennis Abukuse singlehandedly got Kenya’s Los Angeles 7s campaign off to the perfect start by claiming a brace in the 12-7 win over Australia.

The win marked only their second victory in the series this season after their triumph over debutants Uruguay last time out in the Sydney 7s.

Shujaa came into the tournament looking to pick crucial points as they were languishing in the relegation zone despite sitting 12th with the relegation format this season having changed.

This season the series is structured so that at the end of the penultimate event in Toulouse, the 15th-ranked team will be relegated to the 2024 Challenger Series while the 12th to 14th-ranked teams will face off against the Challenger Series 2023 winner for the final position in the 2024 World Series.

Shujaa captain Nelson Oyoo highlighted what worked for them against Australia and was thankful for the boisterous Kenyan fans in Los Angeles as he emphasized the magnitude of the next matches against Fiji and Japan.

“What we got right was keeping possession, the boys put in their heads to get the win, and it's a good way to start the tournament as we head into the next two games.

These are just part of the fans, we are representing 50 plus one million Kenyans back at home but we are glad for the ones that are here to support us.

We will build up towards the two games remaining. We are going to carry the positives from this game and work on the negatives as we head to the next games,” said Oyoo.

Kenya started brightly but failed to convert their early pressure into points with Australia capitalizing on their missed opportunities when Tim Clements raced over the line after receving a basketball pass with Stuart Dunbar adding the extras.

Menengai Oilers sensation Dennis Abukuse took Shujaa level on the break after showing the Australian defense a clean pair of heels with his lightening quick pace as Anthony Omondi was successful with his boot.

Damian McGrath’s men picked up from where they left from in the first half as they landed their second try through that man again Abukuse who rounded one of the Australian players to seal his brace.

Kenya withered the late Aussie storm to register a massive upset that was well encapsulated by John Okoth leaping high and punching into the air.