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Kenya up rugby training

POLITICS
By | December 31st 2009

By BS MULAVI

The national Sevens team has hit the training grounds hard in preparation for the next two legs of the International Rugby Board Sevens circuit.

The squad has barely had enough time to celebrate during this festive season since players have opted to focus on the matches ahead, hoping to win at least one major title in the circuit.

New Zealand and USA have been good hunting grounds for the Sevens team and the squad has started training to improve on their performance in the first two legs of the circuit in Dubai and South Africa.

Kenya were eliminated in the plate semis in Dubai and the Cup semis in South Africa. In both encounters, Kenya lost in the dying minutes of the game which assistant coach Felix Ochieng’ attributes to the conditioning of the team.

"I think conditioning and not fitness played a part in our losses. Our boys are very fit, they can run the whole day if they wanted to, but what matters is the hits, the tackles the collisions and how the boys react after contact," said Ochieng’.

Adequate time

"The way last season was programmed meant we could not work on the conditioning of the team and we were punished in crucial games but this time round, we have adequate time ahead of the next two legs in February and you will see a much better conditioned and sharper team," he added.

Ochieng’ who is also the strength and fitness coach works closely with the squad and is often seen running with the players during training sessions despite his relatively older age in comparison to the squad,

"A better conditioned player can make better decisions and stay alert at critical moments. If you watched our games, you would see we suffered from some wrong decisions especially in the dying minutes."

Ochieng’ believes the team will soon bring back home a major trophy for the first time. However, he feels the team’s only problem is trying to find a balance so that they do not overdo it and get fatigued in the end.

"We are trying to make sure we do not over train but by the next leg, we should expect to see Kenya emerge one of the strongest teams in the contact situations," he concluded.

Most of the bigger teams such as New Zealand and Fiji are known for their contact play and if Kenya can match them in that area, it would be a plus for the team since the team already boasts of speed.

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