Litmus test for sevens players in George

By the punter
Jan 12, 2022
  • Mike Agevi is one of the players gunning for a place in the core team. SNA File picture.

The camp in South Africa by the Kenya Sevens team has turned into a litmus test for players who hope to be included in the final squad which travels to the USA later this month for the fourth leg of the International Rugby Board World Sevens Series.

On Saturday, a select team playing under Shujaa reached the main cup quarter final of the second George Sevens Premier League Sevens tournament at Outeniqua Park. Paul Treu, the Kenya coach fielded a mix of experienced and new players who distinguished themselves by finishing unbeaten on day one.

It was clear that Treu was mixing and blending the players to find the near perfect balance. Some of the players who missed who missed the last two legs of the IRB Sevens World Series and those whose performance were doubtful are getting a second chance in George.

Also in the mix are players who are keen to break through the ranks such as Tony Owuor, Michael Agevi and Cyprian Kuto.

Put to the sword

It is this mixed mix of players who Treu put to the sword in George. They face Western Province in the main cup quarter final on Sunday. Other quarter finalists are Samurai who won the inaugural event last year. They play Living Ball.

On Saturday, Shujaa narrowly defeated Unlimited Titans 19-14 in their first match. In this match, Dan Sikuta scored two tries and Oscar Ouma one while Biko Adema kicked over two conversions.

Against Cheetahs, Shujaa won 34-12. Billy Odhiambo scored two tries while Dennis Ombachi and Oscar Ouma added one each. Adema slotted three conversions and Eden Agero one. Shujaa then beat home team SWD Eagles 22-12 to reach the main cup quarter finals.

The tournament which is only in its’ second year continues to grow in stature and is a a breeding ground for players and coaches. Kaizer Chiefs are coached by Gqobani Bobo and Breyton Paulse, a former Springbok winger.

Tournament objectives

Willem Strauss, the tournament promoter said one of the objectives of the two day tournament was to develop players and coaches. Last year Seabelo Senatla and Justin Gedud played at the tournament and have since been elevated to Blitz Bokke, South Africa’s Sevens team.

Unlimited Titans is coached by Steval Pumas and Jimmy Stonehouse. Bevin Fortuin is in charge of SWD Eagles. Neil Powell who replaced Treu as South Africa Sevens coach was in charge of Samurai last year.

This year, Samurai is being handled by Marius Schoenman who played in more than 40 tournaments for the Blitz Bokke. Jonathan Mokuena (Living Ball) and Eddie Fredricks (Cheetahs) have also played the shorter version of the game.

Shujaa: Oscar Ouma, Dan Sikuta, Patrice Agunda, Cyprian Kuto, Michael Agevi, Humphrey Kayange, Biko Adema, Tony Owuor, Felix Ayange, Eden Agero, Billy Odhiambo, Dennis Ombachi.

Western Province: Ruan Mostert, Terwin Brits, Cheslin Kolbe, Armien Bailey, Stefan de Villiers, Andre Smith, Iewan Bartels, Anthony Taylor, Rob Hollard, Viian Fredericks, Gerret Theron, Earl Rose.

Main Cup quarter finals: Kaizer Chiefs Vs SWD, Samurai vs Living Ball, Unlimited Titans vs Sharks, Kenya vs Western Province.

Bowl semi finals: Eye of the Tiger vs Cheetahs, Leopards vs Masakane Old Boys.

Day one results: Kaizer Chiefs 22 Western Province 19, Samurai 45 Sharks 7, Masakane Old Boys 14 Eye of the Tiger 12, Unlimited Titans 24 Leopards 5, Living Ball 29 Cheetahs 10, Shujaa 22 SWD 12, Samurai 45 Kaizer Chiefs 10, Sharks 26 Masakane Old Boys 5, Western Province 43 Eye of the Tiger 5, Unlimited Titans 26 Living Ball 19, Shujaa 34 Cheetahs 12, Leopards 26 SWD 10, Kaizer Chiefs 52 Masakane Old Boys 0, Sharks 26 Western Province 26, Samurai 38 Eye of the Tiger 0, Shujaa 19 Unlimited Titans 14, Cheetahs 24 Leopards 21, SWD 26 Living Ball 21.