NAIROBI, Kenya, December 8 – National sevens rugby coach Benjamin Ayimba has attributed his team’s below par performance in last weekend’s International Rugby Board (IRB) tournament in George to lack of concentration.,
Kenya left George without a point after suffering surprise losses to Portugal and France slipping down to eighth in the IRB rankings.
“We performed dismally in George and it’s not acceptable from our side, we know that,” said Ayimba who was speaking after arriving from South Africa on Monday morning.
Ayimba however added that the mishap was a blessing in disguise stating that they will work on eliminating the mistakes with the World Cup only three months away.
“The loss to Portugal taught us that we should be switched on every minute we play and it also helped us pick out our mistakes so that we can rectify before the World Cup,” added Ayimba.
Captain Humphrey Khayange echoed his coach’s sentiments stating that his team mates need to raise their game especially with the Wellington and San Diego legs looming.
“The players know that the hard work starts now before we head to New Zealand because it’s a long season and we can’t afford to break at this point if we are to stand up and be counted at the top,” said Khayange who is captaining the team for the second season in a row.
Khayange pointed out the team’s performance disparities in Dubai where they collected six points after reaching the plate finals and their forgettable outing in George where they were knocked out by France in the bowl semi final.
“Things fell into place for us in Dubai where we had very few mistakes and took our chances when they came whereas in George we committed too many errors and also made too many poor decisions in all our matches,” said Khayange.
“But this is a special team and looking back at how we played in Dubai, I do believe we can play to the top most level,” he added.
Kenya were condemned to the Bowl competition in George after Pool D losses to surprise main cup quarter finalists Portugal 14-12 and an out of sorts Samoa 17-12 and dodged a bullet in the form of Wales who they beat 19-12 at the death.
They managed to scrape past a much improved Scotland 19-12 in the Bowl semi before being bundled out of the tourney at the hands of France 19-14.
This was in stark contrast in Dubai where Ayimba’s side reached the main cup quarter finals where they were beaten by New Zealand 21-17 despite a brave effort in the second half of that match.
Kenya resumes training on Saturday.