Sevens Team in IRB Wellinton action


Published on 05/02/2009

By BS MULAVI

Kenya open their Wellington Sevens title campaign against Tonga this afternoon with a target of reaching the knock-out phase.

The boys coached by Benjamin Ayimba are in a physical pool A, which also comprise series leaders South Africa, and Scotland in the third leg of the circuit.

Kenya have never beaten South Africa in the IRB Series. The Springboks have been in remarkable form and have already won both of the opening legs of the circuit in Dubai and George respectively.

They have matched defending champions New Zealand’s record and look well on course for another title. Kenya will have to draw all their weapons if they are to rattle the series leaders.

Kenya on the other hand has already demolished Scotland this season and is confident of a repeat performance when the two meet in their second match of the pool, while the match against Tonga can go either way.

Ayimba’s boys will have to make sure they win at least two games if they hope to make it to the quarterfinals of the main cup.

In the last leg in George, the local lads won only one of their pool games and failed to garner any points that severely dented their season aspirations of attaining 48 points by collecting at least six points from each leg.

Kenya have won three build up matches against Niue, Cook Islands and the Arabian Gulf. Although these are not big matches they have helped to build the team’s confidence ahead of today’s showdown.

They were due to play a warm up match against France but the Europeans arrived late due to a delayed flight.

The build matches also helped the team to work on several combinations and also polish set plays. Coach Benjamin Ayimba expressed confidence in his squad.

“We have already done enough at home but it is only when the players step on the pitch here that you know what to expect. Definitely the combinations are working and I hknow who will start against Tonga, Scotland and South Africa.”

“Only Horace Owiti sustained a knock on his ankle,” team manager, Oscar Osir said.

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