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Kenya drops points as Tank plots redemption

NAIROBI, August 6 – The national rugby team has slipped a place down in the latest International Rugby Board rankings, sitting on position 41 in the latest list released Monday.

Kenya is still seventh in Africa.

The drop follows the 44-15 loss to Tunisia in an Africa Zone 2015 Rugby World Cup qualifier over the weekend.

Namibia is the highest ranked African country, at 26 with 56.82 points with the exception of World number one, Rugby World Cup champions South Africa who have 90.01 points.

Tunisia, who also beat Kenya in the qualifiers, climbed a deserved three places up to 29th and now have 53.37 points, six places ahead of Morocco who dropped seven places down to 35th.

Uganda remains unchanged at 31st with 53.09 points despite their narrow 32-22 win over Madagascar who dropped three places to 46th.

Rankings for the other teams are unchanged. Zimbabwe (56th) 44.45, Senegal (66) 41.44, Zambia (70) 40.64, Botswana (74) 39.53, Cameroon (77) 38.97, Swaziland (84) 36.68, Nigeria (89) 35.29.


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With the turn of events Head Coach, Michael ‘Tank’ Otieno urged that a solid structure be put in place to enable Kenya measure up to competition at the highest level.
Otieno said this after the team arrived back from Tunisia Monday with the technical bench admitting there was need to go back to the drawing board and start preparing for the 2015 Rugby World Cup.
 "We have to start preparations for 2015 RWC now by investing in the players, structure and conditioning. These are some of the things, which came to the fore in Tunisia. To have an edge, Kenya has to improve technically too," Otieno explained.
The coach added that Tunisia had better skills and outplayed Kenya in all departments.
"It was evident that some of our players were not spending enough time in the gymnasium," the coach said. Some of the departments, which the coach identified for attention, were defence and rucks.

 Commenting on the game, Otieno admitted that Tunisia were better prepared after having a solid training for three weeks.

 "Tunisia’s technical bench had done their homework well and defended well. We were better in set pieces but need more power, speed and skill. They knew we would spread the ball wide and reacted quickly whenever they lost possession. It was not easy playing catch up rugby after going down by two tries in the opening 10 minutes," the coach explained.

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