Yet again, Argentina proved a hard nut to crack for the Kenya men’s Sevens team as they lost 21-14 to the Los Pumas in the final of the first leg of Madrid 7s on Sunday.
It was a second successive loss for Shujaa against their South American opponents who also beat them 21-7 when the sides met in the preliminaries.
However, Shujaa coach Innocent Simiyu will have a lot of positives to pick from the two-day tournament, considering it was the first time his men were involved in a competitive rugby event since the game was interrupted by the coronavirus pandemic early last year.
Over the two days, Shujaa won three matches against Portugal, Spain and USA before back-to-back losses against the Argentines set them back.
While Shujaa enjoyed a relatively successive outing over the two days in the Spanish capital, their women counterparts, the Kenya Lionesses, had a tournament to forget after finish last in the six-team event.
Having lost all their three matches on Saturday, Felix Oloo’s side continued with their struggles on Sunday as they went down to Spain and Poland before meeting the Spaniards again in the fifth place final, a match they lost to end the tournament without a win.
The Madrid 7s tournament, which is being used by teams as a warm up event for the Tokyo Olympics, will conclude next weekend.
Against Argentina in the final, Kenya were reduced to six men early in the first half after Nelson Oyoo was sent to the sin bin.
Considering Argentina’s quality, Shujaa’s numerical inferiority was always going to work against them as the Argentines took the lead through a converted try.
Oyoo returned from his punishment to level the scores after receiving a pass from Tony Omondi before Argentina retook their lead through Rodrigo Etchart.
Shujaa were not going down without a fight as they responded through Alvin Otieno’s converted try before Etchart sealed his brace to hand Argentina the win.
Shujaa results in Madrid
Shujaa 36 –5 Portugal
Shujaa 19 –5 Spain
Shujaa 38 – 7 USA
Shujaa 7 – 21 Argentina
Argentina 21-14 Shujaa
Russia 41 –0 Lionesses
France 63 – 5 Lionesses
USA 29 – 7 Lionesses
Lionesses 7 – 10 Spain
Lionesses 7 –15 Poland
Spain 12-10 Lionesses