NAIROBI, Kenya, June 15 – National sevens flyhalf Lavin Asego attributes his team sterling performance in the 2008/2009 International Rugby Board (IRB) Sevens series to familiarity within the team.
Asego told Capital Sport on Monday that the Rugby World Cup Sevens qualifiers in Tunisia last year was the launch pad for one of Kenya’s most successful in the eight leg series.
“I believe consistency and team work has driven us. Since the world cup qualifiers, we’ve pretty much been able to have a consistent team,” said Asego who finished sixth overall in last season’s IRB sevens points table.
“What had been working for us is that the player s who played at the qualifiers is the same crop of players who have been on tour and once you play with guys you know, it gets easier and you are able to put the patterns of play in place,” he added.
Asego said that last season was a far cry from previous campaigns where they would set off on two different tours with different set of players.
“When you tour with different sets of player in between tournaments, you always have to start from scratch. And there is always a month’s difference between tours which is a very short time for players to gel,” said the Mwamba standoff.
Kenya finished the season in sixth place with 64 points a feat which Asego believes will make his team’s campaign next season even much tougher.
“Next season is going to be very difficult because you are gauged by what you did previously. Now we have to aim higher, go back to the drawing board and see what didn’t work well and after the Safari Sevens we’ll draft a plan for next season,” he added.
Asego was speaking after his team and the entire Kenya Rugby fraternity was hosted to a luncheon by President Mwai Kibaki at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre (KICC).
President Kibaki said he was proud to note that within a few years the team has succeeded in emerging the sixth best in the world with winger Collins Injera receiving the IRB top try scorer award after scoring 42 tries.
“May I also take this opportunity to congratulate the Kenya Rugby Football Union (KRFU) for the commitment, hard work and determination to create a strong national rugby team that has put our country on the rugby map,” said President Kibaki.
He added that the Government plans to establish an International Sports Academy to provide specialized training for the country’s sports men and women.
During the occasion President Kibaki presented the team with Sh2.5 million courtesy of the Ministry of Tourism through the Kenya Tourism Board (KTB).