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Confident Kenya head to Hamilton: With 10 points from Australia, national Sevens team hopes to improve on placing

RUGBY By | January 30th 2018
Kenya's Daniel Sikuta charges against South Africa captain Philip Snyman on day three of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series in Sydney on 28th January, 2018. [IRB.com]

Sevens coach Simiyu happy with players’ output going to New Zealand.

The Kenya Sevens team heads to the Hamilton, New Zealand, leg of the IRB Sevens Series buoyed by their improved performance in Sydney, Australia, during the weekend.

Innocent Simiyu’s charges have been drawn in Group D with in-form Canada, the United States of America, and Samoa ahead of the battle on Saturday through Sunday.

With 10 points in the bag from Australia, the buoyant Kenyan lads will hope to rise from their 11th placing on the table.

The return of experienced Kenya Commercial Bank forward and former captain Andrew Amonde saw an improved outing where Kenya narrowly lost (7-5) to Argentina before beating France 17-14 and Wales 26-5 to qualify for The Cup quarterfinals against South Africa, who beat them 17-0.

Amonde rejoined the side after missing the Dubai and Cape Town Sevens legs in December last year due to injury.

A 24-5 beating at the hands of former World champions Fiji at the fifth-place playoffs rounded off Kenya’s outing down under.

As Kenya takes on Samoa at 1am (EAT) in their first match of the Hamilton Sevens, head coach Innocent Simiyu is aware of the task ahead of him in selecting a formidable squad as he tries to mix the old guard and youngsters.

In an interview with Xinhua on Monday Simiyu said: “The teams are always the same. They are strong and you must have your best game to sail through to the quarters. I am happy the players are giving their best on the pitch and it will transform into positive results.”

The last time Kenya won a leg was way back in April 2016, when they clinched the Singapore Sevens after they beat Fiji 30-7 under coach Benjamin Ayimba.

Sydney Sevens losing finalists South Africa are atop the standings with 58 points, four more than second-placed New Zealand.

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