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Kenyan side Shujaa storm into continental tourney Main Cup quarters

RUGBY By - | April 28th 2013
Kenya ‘B’ team’s Humphrey Khayange (centre) is challenged by Makombe Shayne of Namibia during their CAR 7s match at Mombasa Sports Club, on Saturday. [PHOTOS: MARTIN MUKANGU/STANDARD]

By BS Mulavi

The Kenya National Rugby Sevens Side, Shujaa stormed into the Main Cup quarter-finals of the Confederation of African Rugby (CAR) 7s tournament with an immaculate 100 per cent record in the group stages at the Mombasa Sports club.

Speaking after their 38-0 demolition of Zambia, Kenya coach Felix Ochieng’ praised his troops for the hard work and stated they are expecting an even tougher second day. “On the first day, we were looking mainly at our defensive structures and once we got that sealed we started concentrating on taking the ball forward,” he said.

“We know teams have been watching us and they are bound to come out more aggressive on the second day, but we are up to challenge and we believe we can take it up from where we have left it off today,” he added.

“Our next step is to minimise on the errors and keep our form consistent so that we can have a good showing,” he said. Speaking alongside Ochieng was the Kenya Chairman side coach Innocent Simiyu who also lauded his troops for what he termed as an exceptional performance.

Played well

“For a team that has not trained together consistently, I think we played very well with the exception of the first game where we lost 14-10 to Zimbabwe,” said Simiyu.

“The players we have are a bit inexperienced but they dealt well with the pressure and gave a good account of themselves,” he added.

Simiyu explained that they could have done much better had they made good use of all the scoring opportunities they created, a shortcoming he was hoping to correct on the second day.

“Our first mission will be to build on the team chemistry so that we can play more as a unit,” he said.

“We now need to build off in the quarter-finals and we will be relishing a tie against the Shujaa side early.”

“We would prefer to meet Shujaa before the finals so that the players can get to compete on equal footing for places in the national squad,” he said.

Ochieng’ echoed his sentiments and identified five key players who had given a good account of themselves and were potentials to joining the senior team.

“Philip Wamae, who is the captain has played well alongside teammates Eden Agero, Felix Ayange, Billy Odhiambo and Oscar Ayodi, all of whom are in contention for a place in the Senior squad,” said Ochieng’.

Ochieng’ said they were wary of the threat posed by the Zimbabweans whom he felt are a threat to their chances of clinching the top 7s trophy in the continent.

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