NAIROBI, Kenya, February 2- To the locals, Wellington’s Westpac Stadium is known as the ‘cake tin’ but for the Kenya Sevens team, it will feel more like a cauldron when they meet Samoa early Friday morning.
Benjamin Ayimba’s side who have failed to register a point so far this season take on the defending International Rugby Board (IRB) Sevens series champions at 3am Kenya time in a match they must win if they are to enhance their chances of making their first main cup quarter final of the current campaign.
“Our buildup to Dubai and George was not really the best we’ve had in the last couple of years. Over Christmas, we took time to catch up on our strength and conditioning and game plays,” said Kenya captain Humphrey Kayange.
“Having key players like Biko (Adema) and Collins (Injera) also adds motivation to the team,” added the Mwamba centre.
Oscar Ouma who has turned out for Shujaa and the Kenya 15s team is poised to make his debut in the series where his physicality is expected to put Kenya on the front foot against their Pool C rivals that also includes Australia and Tonga.
“It’s a very difficult and physical pool for us. As a team we’re really looking to qualify for the main cup quarters which means winning at least two of our pool games. Now we are just waiting for kickoff against Samoa and gunning for a win,” said Kayange.
Westpac Stadium, which is home to the Super Rugby franchise Wellington Hurricanes, has been the stage for some up and downs for Kenya in the recent past.
It was the scene for Kenya’s first victories over Australia and South Africa but is also the place where they suffered their heaviest defeat in the series to Scotland, a massive 61-0 thrashing.
Against Samoa, Kenya will be chasing their fourth victory against the mighty tiny island nation. The pair last met in Dubai back in December with the islanders cruising to a 26-7 win.
Kayange and co. then take on the Aussies at 6.18am and then will brace themselves for another south pacific onslaught when they come up against Tonga at 8.52am.
Humphrey Kayange (captain), Sidney Ashioya, Collins Injera, Biko Adema, Leon Adongo, Andrew Amonde, Gibson Weru, Brian Nyikuli, Patrice Agunda, Wilson Kopondo, Oscar Ouma, Peter Ocholla, Lavin Asego.
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