NAIROBI, Kenya, January 14- Nondescripts coach Kanyi Gitonga admits that his team have a mountain climb on Saturday when they host Kenya Harlequins at Jamhuri Park.The former international flyhalf told Capital Sport on Thursday that maintaining possession against the defending Kenya Cup champions will be their primary focus as they seek to bounce back from last weekend’s disappointing loss to Nakuru.
“The key thing for us when we play Harlequins is to control our possession and make the best use out of it. We know there are good enough to score points and we must be good enough to put pressure and score points as well and put some doubt in their game,” said Gitonga.
Nondies were handed a 31-7 hiding the last time both sides met at the Rugby Football Union of East Africa (RFUEA) grounds in the first leg of the competition.
“Harlequins are a disciplined side. They play to their strengths and really good structured rugby. They also have good defensive and counter attacking ability. You need to be on top of your game to beat them,” said Gitonga.
Gitonga believes that his team gave away too much territory in their 22-18 loss to Nakuru and ultimately succumbed to pressure as indiscipline within his ranks cost them the game.
“What let us down against Nakuru was that we played too much rugby in our half. They kicked over three penalties, nine points in all and we lost the game by four which really tells the story,” said Gitonga.
“When you play so much rugby in your half, it drains your energy, gives the other team opportunity to score points and ultimately it makes you look unfit when you are not. Its really just playing smart rugby and making sure you take your opportunities when they come,” he added.
Following this weekend’s clash, the white shirts who are currently fifth on the Kenya cup standings face daunting fixtures with KCB and Impala on successive weekends.
“For us, we know we can’t win the league. We haven’t gotten enough bonus points or wins. What we want to do is to build up towards Mwamba and Enterprise Cups. We have a rich and proud history that we want to maintain. The key thing for us now is to build towards those tournaments in the coming months.”
The only injury concern for Nondies ahead of the match is an injury to veteran tighthead prop Hillary Itela whose struggling with his knee but is expected to be fit.
Kenya Cup Fixtures (January 15)
Strathmore v Nakuru
Machine v Impala
Mwamba v KCB
Nondies v Quins
Kick off time 4.30pm
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