NAIROBI, February 9 – Kenya’s hero at Sydney 7s Oscar Ayodi believes the national sevens team is on the right path to achieving her top five finish at this season’s HSBC Sevens World Series.
The Homeboyz centre who grounded seven tries at Sydney to emerge joint top scorer alongside Canada’s Nathan Hiryama, Seabelo Senatla (South Africa), Savenaca Rawaca (Fiji) and Rieko Ioane (New Zealand), said the team is performing well since head coach, Benjamin Ayimba has given them freedom to execute their style of play.
“The team stepped up in Sydney and with such momentum, it’s going to be better in Las Vegas and Canada. The coach has given us freewill to express ourselves more. We are back to playing the Kenyan way which is fun because we enjoy what we do.
“I can’t say I was the best performer in Australia but it’s the entire team because they created space for me to score the tries. After four legs, we are trying to find our feet so I think in the next three legs we are going to be a force to reckon with,” Ayodi who featured his 20th World Series at Sydney, underscored.
Ayimba who guided the team to Plate finals in Wellington after falling 24-0 to Argentina said his main aim is building a formidable squad for Olympic Games scheduled for August in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Kenya are drawn in a relatively fair Pool A for Las Vegas alongside titans New Zealand, Portugal and Russia with Ayimba identifying the All Blacks as the main threat.
“We over achieved the points tally that we wanted to get in both tournaments (Wellington and Sydney) since our target was 15 but we got 22. What is remaining is working on our combinations where we need one more trip to experiment. The Series is competitive and that makes it difficult for anyone to pre-empt a tough team,” Ayimba outlined when the team returned from Australia.
The head coach will be looking to improve on the rack, a section that led them down in the Plate final against the Pumas.
“We are still building the team so our fans will see a lot more Cup quarters before we start being consistent in semis after we leap frog Argentina and USA who are ahead of us. Our tournament gets towards preparing for Olympics.”
Ayimba targets to reach the Main Cup quarter-finals in Las Vegas on the weekend of March 4 and 5 when the 2015-16 campaign enters midway.