Kenya’s Shujaa finished last at the Sydney Sevens in Australia over the weekend, the team’s worst performance since the 2018-19 London tournament.
The single point picked in the showpiece brought Shujaa’s tally for the season to 26 points with six legs remaining.
Having shown great promise with an eighth-place finish at the Hamilton Sevens just a week ago, the quick dip in form during the two-day event at the Bankwest Stadium left a lot to be desired.
A nation will be wondering where it all went wrong for Shujaa as their four matches in Australia, including a 15th-place playoff against Samoa, all ended in defeats.
It was always going to be difficult for Paul Feeney’s men having been drawn in pool A alongside Series leaders New Zealand, Fiji and Wales.
While losses to the All Blacks and Fiji didn’t come as a surprise going by Kenya’s head to head record against the two, it was the 26-21 defeat to struggling Wales in their second match of the preliminaries that left a bad taste in the mouths of Shujaa faithful.
One of Shujaa’s major weakness which has been derailing the team over the past few matches is the inability to hold on to a lead and that was highlighted in Sydney particularly in their loss to the Welshmen when they squandered a 21-12 advantage.
Indiscipline was also a key factor in that defeat to Wales as Kenya were forced to play with five men in the latter stages of the contest after Johnstone Olindi and Nelson Oyoo were sent to the sin bin for different infringements.
It was during that period of numerical superiority that Wales rallied to complete the comeback with two late tries which were converted.
Shujaa’s poor execution in line-outs both on attack and defence, lack of support play when turning over possession and handling errors are just some of the team’s weaknesses that were laid bare at the Sydney Sevens.
Feeney also has his work cut out regarding the team’s over-reliance on individual brilliance as he will have to ensure that his side operates more as a team in subsequent assignments and improve on their discipline which is a crucial part of the game.