NAIROBI, Kenya, October 27- Kenya Sevens coach Benjamin Ayimba has defended his team’s performance at the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi.Ayimba told Capital Sport on Wednesday that the criticism his charges have had to endure since their arrival from India have no basis as far as the future development of the team is concerned.
“This is the fourth Commonwealth we have taken part and we performed better than we did in the last three, that is an improvement. The game itself is changing,” said Ayimba.
Kenya fell at the main cup quarter final stage to Australia and then eliminated from the tournament altogether after losing to Scotland in the Bowl competition.
“The loss to Australia was particularly painful but, there are number three in the world. I don’t know where the hullabaloo is coming from,” said Ayimba.
“There are a good side and number three in the world. We were expected to beat them because we have beaten them in the past but that’s sports. You are expected to win some, lose some and learn lessons while doing it,” added the former national skipper.
Ayimba was speaking after naming a 24 strong squad for the upcoming 2010-2011 International Rugby Board (IRB) Sevens Series.
The eight leg series commences next month in Dubai where Kenya are in Pool A alongside defending series champions Samoa, Wales and hosts Arabian Gulf.
Ayimba is expecting a backlash from the South Pacific Islanders who they beat narrowly in the pool stages of the games.
“Losing in the Commonwealth Games and making them look bad and failing to make the medal bracket, they will definitely come hard at us. But it doesn’t make us any less for Dubai. We are going to give as much as we receive,” said Ayimba.
The Mwamba duo of Edgar Abere and Dennis Ombachi, Impala backrow Lawrence Buyachi, Nakuru bruiser Oscar Ouma and Kenya Harlequins tyro David Ambunya are some of the new faces in the squad.
“All these players bring youth, unpredictability and courage which I believe will return a lot of zeal into the team. Usually the inclusion of new blood adds a lot of excitement into any side,” said Ayimba.
Impala flyhalf Peter Ocholla is back into the team and Ayimba is confident that the standoff can make up for lost time.
“For him, its more about learning what the team has been doing for the last two seasons. He’s a very dynamic player and he should have no problem trying to integrate back into the squad. For a player of his stature, we’re arlooking at him becoming bigger and better as the season progresses.”
Humphrey Kayange, Horace Otieni, Edgar Abere, Lavin Asego, Collins Injera, Dennis Ombachi. Wilson Kopondo, Leaon Adongo, David Ambunya, Patrice Agunda, Sidney Ashioya, Eden Adero, Brian Nyikuli, Lawrence Buyachi, Kevin Umbuge, Seje Owade, Innocent Simiyu, Peter Ocholla, Gray Cullen, Ben Nyambu, Biko Adema. Oscar Ouma, Gibson Weru, Andrew Amonde.