Shujaa, Lionesses storm into semifinal stage in Dubai Challenger Series

13th January 2024

The semifinals will be played from Sunday noon.

Shujaa's Patrick Odongo. PHOTO| Mike Lee/World Rugby
Shujaa's Patrick Odongo. PHOTO| Mike Lee/World Rugby
  • Lionesses beat Czechia in their quarterfinal.
  • Shujaa overcame strong challenge from Japan to advance to the last four.
  • Lionesses will face Argentina as Shujaa take on Uruguay.

The Kenyan rugby teams have qualified for the semifinals of the main cup at the 2024 HSBC Dubai Challenger Series.

The women’s side, Kenya Lionesses were the first ones to book a slot in the semis after cruising past Czechia Republic in their quarterfinals with a 22-12 score line.

The Lionesses will now battle it out with South American nation Argentina for a place in the finals of the first leg of the series. 

On the other hand, their male counterparts Shujaa produced a scintillating display to narrowly beat Japan 21-19 in their quarterfinals encounter.

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Japan were the first to get into the scoresheet when Patrick Odongo made a blunder but Shujaa remained determined and managed to bounce back from their poor start. 

The squad which is under the tutelage of Kevin Wambua scored their tries via Nygel Amaitsa, Samwel Asati and Patrick Odongo.

Odongo, who has been a revelation in Dubai, rectified the mistake he made earlier in the game to score Kenya’s game winning try.

The pacey forward flew past Japanese players and went on to score the try to make it 19-12 in favor of Kenya. The conversion kick was later scored to put Kenya 21-12 ahead.

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However, the win did not come on a silver platter since Shujaa had to fight hard to ensure they maintain their lead after Festus Siashi was red carded for a dangerous tackle a few moments after he had been given a chance by coach Wambua to showcase his skills. 

After Shiasi’s dismissal, Japan bagged a try and converted the kick to make it 21-19 but it was too late for them to deny Kenya a semifinal spot. 

Similar to Shujaa, Lionesses also started their game slowly, allowing Czechia to score the first try of the game. 

The squad which is managed by Dennis Mwanja leveled the score through Naomi Amuguni after excellent work from skipper Grace Okulu.

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As the game went on, Czechia failed to capitalize when Lionesses player Sinadia Nyachio was given some time out of the pitch due to foul, making the first half to end 7 - 5 in favor of Kenya.

Kenyan again started poorly in the second half allowing their opponents to score a try before they turned on the screw and went on to win the entertaining match.