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Rugby: Olando urges team to improve ahead of Uganda tie

Last updated 11 months ago | By Clement Wekulo

Meet Kenya 7s Rugby queens Philadelphia Olando [Elvis Ogina.Standard].

Philadelphia Olando, the captain of Kenya's women’s rugby 15s team, Lionesses, says the team should improve on their showing in the early stages following their slow start in Friday’s 35-5 come-from-behind win against Madagascar in the Africa Women’s Cup that is ongoing in Johannesburg, South Africa.

The Felix Oloo-coached Lionesses are preparing to face a wounded Uganda side on Tuesday in their second match of the four-team tournament that is acting as a qualifier for the 2021 Women’s Rugby World Cup in New Zealand.

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“We have to work on how we start our matches because we are not happy with how we played in the opening stages of the game. It is important to improve on that ahead of the next game,” Olando told Rugby Africa.

Olando, who was among the try scorers in the Madagascar rout attributed Friday’s win to their patient build-ups.

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“It was difficult for us in the beginning because Madagascar came so hard on us in the first 20 minutes. However, we remained patient in defence and attack, and that helped us grow into the game and ultimately win it,” Olando said.

South Africa, who thumped Uganda 89-5 in their opener, are leading the way by virtue of their superior point difference while the Lionesses are second.

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The winner of the tournament will qualify directly to the World Cup while the second team will play against South American opposition in a one-off playoff whose winner will head to a repechage tournament to try and seal qualification to the global event.

Elsewhere, Australia scored a stunning 47-26 upset over a shellshocked New Zealand side reduced to 14 men in a pulsating Rugby Championship clash yesterday.