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GRITTY KENYA FALL TO PUMAS: Ayimba's vastly improved Sevens side unlucky to lose to Argentina

RUGBY By BS MULAVI | December 13th 2015
Oscar Ouma (C, top) of Kenya tackles Tom Cusack (bottom) of Australia as he scores during their rugby match of the Dubai leg of IRB's Sevens World Series on December 4, 2015. AFP PHOTO

Kenya national Sevens coach Benjamin Ayimba claims Kenya's good performance in South Africa could be attributed to their preparations for the Cape Town IRB Series leg.

For the first time in three years, Kenya reached the semifinals of the Series, where they were unlucky to lose 24-22 to Argentina after Biko Adema' s conversion hit the post, sending Argentina to the finals against the hosts South Africa, whereas Kenya were to play France by the time of going to Press.

Speaking in South Africa during the second leg of the World Rugby Sevens Series Ayimba said the team plays best when they are relaxed and the showing over the weekend was a result of the team being mentally prepared and ready for the games.

"Looking at last week's losses (In Dubai) they were very slim and the team has been building well," Ayimba explained. "We knew this would be a much better weekend and we are glad that we have gotten the results. Our boys both new and old have performed really well and there is reason to be optimistic"

"We now head back home and look at working on the progress we have made so far," he added. The next leg of the circuit is scheduled for January 30 next year, which will give Ayimba some time to rest and to re-evaluate how they can continue with the form they have shown in South Africa and avoid repeat of Dubai showing.

The highly popular team continued with their dream run at the South Africa Sevens by topping a challenging pool consisting of England, South Africa and Zimbabwe on day one to qualify for the main Cup quarterfinals.

Kenya went unbeaten on the first day of the second leg of the World Rugby Sevens Series, which meant they secured a duel against USA in the last eight of the tournament.

In a game that was expected to be tricky for the East Africans considering that the USA coach Mike Friday has once coached Kenya and is conversant with the Kenyan players, Kenya did not cede ground and started the game strongly showing their intent throughout.

Winning by a 26-10 margin, Kenya then progressed to the semi-finals where they took on Argentina in a nervy match, where Kenya started slowly and simply ran out of time before they could recover and turn the tide against the Argentina Pumas.

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