Kenya sevens rugby team is ready for a vengeful prowl in Madrid scheduled to face Portugal in a repeat opener 1.06pm, play USA at 4.34pm and close day one hunt against Spain at 7.38pm- local times in a weekend Shujaa seek to revenge last weekend's Madrid title loss to the Pumas.
Kenya sevens head coach Innocent ‘Namcos’ Simiyu is looking forward to winning the second title of the Madrid 7s fully aware the main rival-Argentina has to be downed in the small battles of the game first in what he anticipates as his day two highlight clash that could open up the gate to winning the title on his first tour as Shujaa boss.
Shujaa Pride caught up with Namcos Simiyu after the boys hit their captains run led by skipper Nelson Oyoo.
”Our target as a team is to go one better and win the tournament. But this will require us to consistently win the small battles in the game. We know the games will be tougher as teams have had time to prepare but we believe our players have what it takes to improve on last week's performance,” Shujaa head coach Innocent Simiyu told Shujaa Pride.
Against the Pumas last weekend, Shujaa was headed for the same day vengeance in the cup finals but unfortunate events led to Shujaa losing the match by just a try, Shujaa boss admits rushing on defence exposed them and there will be improvements on tackling and turnovers when Kenya meets Argentina for the third match and a possibly fourth this weekend. Namcos will this weekend deploy a consistently performing starting and finishing unit having tested the players.
“We had a good tournament as a team. In regards to work ons, we have worked to improve our tackle completion rate so that we can turnover more ball and adjusting to rush defense as Argentina exposed us here.
For the first tournament we wanted to expose more players and see where they are in terms of game. For this weekend our focus will be on those players who deliver their positional roles consistently. We are happy with the improvement in kicking but we are still below our set standards. For now more focused on how do they improve on last week’s performance,” Shujaa head coach Namcos Simiyu said in an interview with Shujaa Pride.
Shujaa team manager Eric Ogweno flags the team as ready for the second attempt at Madrid title with fully fit players and without health concerns having done all mandatory Covid-19 tests and all turned negative.
“All players are in good shape apart from Herman Humwa who is recovering from a grade 1 ankle sprain. He is under observation from our medical team and we should know if he will be good to play by end of day otherwise there is no further injury concern and everyone turned negative,” Kenya sevens team manager said in an interview with People Daily Sports.
On day two Kenya will play Chile at 1.20pm and Argentina at 3.42pm before the final playoff match that could see Kenya win Madrid sevens, all eyes on Shujaa this weekend as the team proved to be the team to beat after hammering Portugal 34-5 in opener, rampaged Mike Friday boys 38-7 before disappointing hosts-Spain 19-7 to finish day one unbeaten.
Kenya, Spain, Argentina, USA, Portugal, Chile
Saturday 27 Feb 2021
3.06 pm- Shujaa vs Portugal
5.34 pm- Shujaa vs USA
8.38 pm- Shujaa vs Spain
Sunday 28 Feb 2021
1.20 pm- Shujaa vs Chile
3.42 pm- Shujaa vs Argentina