Kenya 7s: Shujaa fight hard but fall short to resistant Spain in edgy second encounter at Madrid Grand Final

Kenya 7s: Shujaa fight hard but fall short to resistant Spain in edgy second encounter at Madrid Grand Final

Mark Kinyanjui 21:59 - 31.05.2024

Shujaa will have to beat Chile on Saturday evening to keep their promotion hopes alive, having already beaten Samoa in their opening match.

Shujaa fought hard but fell short to an efficient Spain, who capitalised on their errors in the first half to grab a much-deserved 10-5 win in their second match of the Madrid Grand final.

Kenya now have quite a lot of work to do in order to secure a top four finish, which will be enough to get them to return to the HSBC World Sevens Series at the very first time of asking.

Although they started brightly with a 19-10 win over Samoa earlier on Friday, their narrow loss to Spain will leave them with plenty to ponder.

Spain landed a well converted try and a penalty in the first half to make it 10-0 to their good heading at the break, and even though they had a man sent to the sin-bin temporarily at the beginning of the second half, they could not make their numerical advantage count.

They did however put in a hard fight, and would claw back through Vincent Onyala’s try that was unfortunately not converted with some three minutes to spare, giving them time to restore parity and potentially take the lead over the hosts.

It however was not enough to help them mount a comeback, considering that, even though they forced a scrum inside Spain’s half, it just was not enough to test their resolve, especially considering substitute winger Chrisant Ojwang missed a glorious opportunity to land a try after mishandling a pass from Brian Tanga.

In the end, both sides would have to settle for a 10-5 result. Kenya now have a lot of work to do against Chile on Saturday evening.

A place in the semi-final will see them meet any of the teams in Pool A which has Canada, USA, Uruguay and Germany.

The playoff involves teams that finished in the top four in the second tier Challenger Series and the sides that were placed ninth to 12th in the World Series with the top four from the tournament earning a place in the top-flight next season.

Follow Pulse Sports X account for more updates.