Rugby: Mwanja calls for consistency as Kenya Lionesses renew rivalry with Uganda on Wednesday

Kenya Lionesses Sinaida Aura (with ball) tackled by Colombia’s Maria Lopela during their rescheduled Rugby World Cup repechage qualifier match at the Nyayo National Stadium in Nairobi, Kenya on August 25, 2021. [Stafford Ondego, Standard]

Kenya Lionesses head coach Dennis Mwanja is looking for consistency ahead of their clash against Uganda in their crunch Rugby Africa Women’s Cup Pool B encounter at the Wankulukuku Stadium in Kampala, Uganda on Wednesday.

The Lionesses began their journey to World Cup on the front foot after seeing off Zambia 36-17 last Saturday.
Kenya are in Group B alongside hosts Uganda and Zambia as the three sides hunt for a single ticket to next year’s Rugby Africa Cup that serves as a qualifier for the 2023 world cup.

The team that emerges top of the three will advance to next year’s Group A which has continental champions South Africa, Zimbabwe. and Namibia.

Speaking on Tuesday Mwanja said they have to improve on how they played against Zambia.
“We didn’t start off as we expected against Zambia. We played in the wrong territory, we were not kicking tactically, we did not use our opportunities well.”

 “We also did not have consistency in our phase play. The girls were bullied physically; their body position was off. The ball also didn’t flow in the back line,” said the KCB assistant coach.

 On facing Uganda, Mwanja insisted on the need to play more aggressively taking into account being perfect in the basics of ball handling, kicking, and set pieces.
“As we head into the Uganda game, we have adjusted our set pieces and have got clarity in our attacking and defensive structure. We’ve also addressed the issue of getting the backs more involved in the game and we expect all 15 starters to hit the ground running.”

 “The whole team will be ready to step up, correcting our set pieces, improve our strike rate, playing in the right zones, and building consistency in phase play by being able to string more than five phases.“

 The Lionesses lead Pool B on 5 points by virtue of scoring four tries that secured them the bonus point in the 36-17 result against Zambia while Uganda are on 4 points, having missed out on a bonus point despite having defeated the Zambians by an identical score.

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