Rugby: Simiyu blames poor preparation on Kenya’s poor show

By Game Yetu: Wednesday, July 25th 2018 at 00:06 GMT +3 | Rugby
Kameli Soejima of Japan scores a try as Jeffrey Oluoch of Kenya tackles in their Championship semi-final game at the Rugby Sevens World Cup in the AT&T Park at San Francisco, California on July 22, 2018. Japan went on to win 26-14. / AFP PHOTO / Mark RALSTON

KRU to implement raft of changes in 7’s squad

Shujaa secured one win out of five games in the just concluded Rugby World Cup.

Kenya will implement a raft of changes in its Sevens national team squad after its poor performance at the World Cup, officials said on Monday.

Kenya Rugby Union (KRU) Chairman Richard Omwela said the team failed to play to its potential, coming into the competition just days after the reinstatement of its head coach Innocent Simiyu.

After cruising past Tonga in their opener in San Francisco in USA, Kenya dropped their guard leading Scotland 26-0 at half time to lose 32-26 to forfeit their only hopes to contest for the World Cup.

Omwela said the team’s implosion in San Francisco will force the union to carry out “far-reaching changes”. “Contracts are over. The World Cup is over,” said Omwela.

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Out of the five games that Kenya played at the World Cup, it only managed one win over Tonga and even lost to low key teams like Japan. It was a below par performance compared with the 2013 and 2009 editions where Kenya reached the semifinals under the leadership of Mike Friday and Benjamin Ayimba respectively.

Simiyu, in his defense, said the poor preparation and players’ boycott to training prior to their departure to San Francisco following his sacking and re-hiring was to blame for the dismal show.

Shujaa had caused a scene in Paris, the last stop in the World Series when they blocked out the sponsors logo off their shirts to show their frustration having not been paid their allowances. “The team lost four weeks of preparations, and we only had two weeks to train. It was not ideal to get the players in ideal playing condition,” he said.

Kenya’s Captain Oscar Ayodi said the players will hold part of the blame but noted that the management will also have their part. Kenya finished second in two rounds of the World Series in Hong Kong and Vancouver this season.

It also failed to win a medal at the Commonwealth Games and now it has lost badly in the World Cup. The next season for the team starts in November.

Elsewhere, World Rugby will examine the use of television match officials to see if they are having too much influence on games and could put changes in place for test matches in Europe in November, chief executive Brett Gosper has said. The move follows a review into the TMO system announced last week.