Rugby: Steady progress for Seven team
RUGBY By - BS MULAVI | December 5th 2013
By BS MULAVI
|Steady progress for Seven team|
The Kenya National Sevens team is taking it one step at a time, as they continue with the International Rugby Board (IRB) Sevens circuit under the stewardship of Paul Treu.
Speaking to FeverPitch from South Africa after their arrival from Dubai, team manager Steve Sewe said they were happy with their result in the Dubai edition, where they reached the Plate semi-finals and they have taken it as an opportunity to learn as they embrace a new technical bench.
According to Sewe, the team is now looking at improving their performance at Port Elizabeth on Saturday and their immediate target would be to top their pool in the games. Kenya is in a relatively tough pool alongside the hosts South Africa, Canada and Spain.
Treu is expected to make an emotional return to his home country, but he has reiterated that he has no bad blood with his former side and he does not expect a dissapointing reception.
“We have had several changes to the squad because of commitments and injuries, but we have been able to get replacements flown in for the side,” he said. Kenya Harlequin centre Patrice Agunda is back in the country for his exams at the University of Nairobi, while Kenya Commercial Bank forward Philip Wamae and Strathmore scrum-half Michael Wanjala are out injured.
Treu will be happy to get back the services of Safaricom Sevens Most Valuable Player Billy Odhiambio, together with rookies Davies Chenge and Dan Sikuta. These replacements are in line with Treu’s philosophy of playing young players and building a team for the future.
Sewe claimed that the injuries and replacements will not affect the team adversely, insisting that it will give them a boost, which may come in handy after the tough Dubai campaign.
He went on to explain that once they are through with their campaign in South Africa they will be able to rate their performance and take it up from there for the remaining six legs of the circuit.
Meanwhile for the hosts South Africa, Stephan Dippenaar has been ruled out with a hamstring injury.
Dippenaar and Jamba Ulengo (foot injury) were ruled out of action on Saturday in Dubai, while Frankie Horne sustained a leg injury in their 26-12 semi-final victory over England.
“We have players in mind but the announcement was expected yesterday morning. Stephan and Jamba flew back to Cape Town already (on Sunday) where they will both see specialists,” said head coach Nick Powell, who also indicated there is a possibility that Ulengo might still be able to play in Port Elizabeth.
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