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Olympics: Coach Simiyu says last 90 seconds cost Kenya win against USA

Rugby Sevens team in Kurume City, Japan, on July 13, 2021. [Edward Alusa/Team Kenya]

Kenyan national sevens team coach Innocent Simiyu believes that the final 90 seconds of the match against USA at the 2020 Olympics were very crucial and that is where the Kenyans lost the match which they could have won.

He also pointed out that the team went more into direct contact when they would have concentrated on the open spaces which could have given them a high chance of getting tries.

“We started slowly and that was a challenge we had, but the boys managed to dig in and get back into the game. I believe we had a key moment with 90 seconds to go where we had a chance to close out the game but we did not manage,” Simiyu said after the 19-14 loss to USA.

“We will pick up from the next game which is a must win against South Africa.”

The last 90 minutes that Simuyu was talking about was when he thought Kenya had scored a try through Willy Ambaka, only for it to be ruled out for a knock on after the referee consulted the TMO and from the scrum USA broke forward and scored a converted try for the win.

Team captain Andrew Amonde said it was a close match, but they now have to win in the next two matches.

Coach Innocent Simiyu during squad naming ceremony at RFUEA Grounds, Nairobi on Nov 24, 2017. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

“I think it was a very close match and we had our chances but we did not utilize them,” Amonde said after the match,” Amonde said.

“We are just keeping our focus, we know what to do in the next match. We will just strive and give our best.”

Amonde was also happy with the young players who were making their debut at the Olympics, pointing out that they played very well and were just unlucky to lose after such a good show.

Collins Injera, who started as the captain with Amonde starting from the bench said he knew it was always going to be tough against USA.

“We knew it was always going to be tough. The pool is some sort of a dogfight pool and that is the reason it was so close. We have to pick ourselves up and forget about this loss and focus on the next one,” Injera said.


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