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Shujaa reach London 7s playoff final despite Uruguay loss

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The Kenya Rugby Sevens National team Shujaa reached the playoff final at the London 7s with a narrow 10-14 defeat Uruguay at Twickenham on Sunday afternoon.
The result saw Shujaa finish second in the four team pool to set up a clash with Canada at 6.56pm East Africa Time for a slot in the 2024 World Rugby Sevens Series.
This match was tense and scoreless for nearly the entire first half before Uruguay broke the deadlock on the stroke of half time, Bautista Basso touching down with Guillermo Lijtenstein converting for a 7-0 lead at the break.
Felipe Arcos Perez then went over with Lijtenstein converting to see Uruguay 14-0 up after the break and with a foot in the final as Uruguay needed to beat Kenya by 8 points to make the playoff decider.
Tony Omondi converted Alvin Otieno’s try to restore the final advantage to Kenya before Johnstone Olindi drilled home a penalty to cement Kenya’s place in the final.
Kenya which has got one final chance to secure their place on the 12-team line-up for the new-look men’s HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2024finished a difficult last weekend in Toulouse, during which they lost to both Canada and Uruguay, by beating USA and Japan on the final day.
Those results earned the Shujaa 13th place in France and have ensured the team travelled north to London full of hope they can retain their place on the Series.
“The boys are relaxed,” captain Nelson Oyoo said. “They know what they need to do and what’s at stake.
“I can’t say there’s no pressure, there’s pressure, but we’re trying as much as possible to keep calm and be able to tackle the task at hand.”
One positive for Oyoo and his team-mates to cling to is the fact that Kenya are the only team competing in the Series Play-off to have beaten Tonga this year.
The best two from the four-nation competition will advance to a winner-takes-all play-off at 6.56pm on Sunday to decide the identity of the 12th and final team on the new-look men’s 2024 World Rugby Sevens Series.

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