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Kenya Morans stun South Africa to lift Safari 7s title

Sunday October 20 2019

Kenya Morans players celebrate winning Tusker Safari Sevens at RFUEA grounds on October 19, 2019. Morans beat South Africa Blitzbokke 19-14 in the final. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO |

Kenya Morans players celebrate winning Tusker Safari Sevens at RFUEA grounds on October 19, 2019. Morans beat South Africa Blitzbokke 19-14 in the final. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO |  NATION MEDIA GROUP

AYUMBA AYODI
By AYUMBA AYODI
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Kenya's second string side Morans Sunday stunned three-time World Rugby Seven Series champions South Africa Blitzebokke 19-14 to lift this year's Safari Sevens title on Sunday at RFUEA grounds.

First half tries from skipper Jeff Oluoch, Geoffrey Okwatch and Alvin Otieno were enough for Morans who led 19-0 at the break to shock Blitzebokke. Johnstone Olindi made two conservations.

South Africa who faced Morans lethal defence opened up in the second half to score through Mngadi Sandiso and Hufke Cameroon but all was in vain for South Africa as Morans recaptured the title they won last in 2000 for their second Cup success.

Kenya Morans fans entertain fans with dances after winning this year's Tusker Safari Sevens title at RFUEA grounds on October 20, 2019. PHOTO | AYUMBA AYODI |

Kenya Morans fans entertain fans with dances after winning this year's Tusker Safari Sevens title at RFUEA grounds on October 20, 2019. PHOTO | AYUMBA AYODI |NATION MEDIA GROUP

For many, the final came too early for them when Blitzebokke beat Kenya Shujaa 19-5 in a tense and tight semi-final match.

Morans, that is Kenya's second side, gave Russia Academy little time to breath to lead 19-0 at the break before winning 24-10 to set up the South Africans in the final.

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Meanwhile, KRU chairman Oduor Gangla has declared the event largely successful after they were able to secure participation of top World Rugby Sevens Series like South Africa and Spain.

Gangla said by Sunday morning they had witnessed a turnout of over 6,000 fans, which was a great improvement from last year’s event that didn’t have more than 3,000 fans.

“We also had top continental teams like Africa champions Zimbabwe and Uganda and Russia side Zastava besides international select side Samurai,” said Gangla adding that there was good response from sponsors this time around. “We had a title sponsor Tusker unlike last year with others like AAR, Betika, Dusit Hotel, Dasani among others coming on board.”

Gangla said the turnout was good despite the rains and the ongoing Rugby World Cup in Japan. "We had over 6,000 fans my Sunday morning with the previous evening drawing a large turnout because of the After Party entertainment at the Safari Village."

Gangla said they faced challenges with the infrastructure with the weather making it worse.

“We had issues with the media centre, which we promise to address in future. The electronic board was also not working by the third match on Saturday,” said Gangla. “Accreditation was also a challenge, which we should really address conclusively in future.”

Gangla said they will in future hold a dry run two days before the tournament so as to have everything in place. “I really want to thank the media, sponsors and fans for staying with us. We promise a big and better event next year.”

Gangla also hopes that the ongoing construction on Ngong Road will have been completed in good time for next year’s event.

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