Shujaa ooze confidence ahead of final hurdle in Munich with eyes on World Series return

Kenya Sevens speedster Patrick Odongo at the 2024 Challenger Series in Dubai. Photo: World Rugby

Shujaa ooze confidence ahead of final hurdle in Munich with eyes on World Series return

Joel Omotto 15:00 - 17.05.2024

Kenya Sevens are keeping hopes of securing a top four finish in the Challenger Series alive as they square off at final leg in Munich with a place in the promotion playoff at stake.

Kenya Sevens are confident of securing a top four finish at the 2024 Challenger Series final round in Munich, Germany this weekend which will get them into the promotion playoff.

Shujaa, who are already in Germany, are in a great position as they are joint top from the first two rounds after accumulating 36 points, same as Uruguay, but with an inferior points difference to the South Americans.

This follows a tournament win in the opening led in Dubai in January before a third-place finish in Montevideo in March, where they beat Chile 31-12 to secure the bronze medal.

That therefore means Shujaa need to make the semi-final for a third straight leg which will guarantee them a top four finish and earn a place in the promotion-relegation playoff in Madrid in June where a place back in the World Sevens Series will be at stake.

Kenya saw their 19-year top flight status come to a crushing end last May but can make a giant step on their journey to an immediate return with a good outing in Munich where they will take on Japan, Chile and Portugal in Pool C.

“Preparations went well but getting here was a bit hectic for us but I believe the boys are ready and well prepared for the tournament,” Shujaa co-captain Tony Omondi said after landing in Munich.

“That [top four] is what we are going for as a team but not to forget to us, each game is a final and to get there eventually the results will take care of themselves.”

Kevin Wambua’s men are boosted by the return of top scorer Patrick Odongo who was dearly missed during the Uruguay leg.

Odongo’s pace and power have been crucial to Shujaa’s success in the last one year and rivals will be sad to see him back in what is an added advantage to Wambua’s side.

“In regards to having Odongo back, there is no substitute for speed, we saw what he did in Dubai, he’s a quality player, a key member of the team and definitely the team missed him in Uruguay due to the small injury he had but now he is as fit as a fiddle and ready to rumble,” Shujaa assistant coach Luis Kisia told Citizen Digital.

If Kenya secure the top four place, they will head to Madrid in June for the promotion-relegation playoff where they will come up against four other teams that will finish in the bottom four in the World Series.

The top four sides from the playoff tournament will earn a place in the World Series while the rest form part of the second tier Challenger Series next season.

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