NAIROBI, Kenya, July 18- Nyayo National Stadium will host its first ever international 15s match when Kenya and Zimbabwe clash in the Victoria Cup on Saturday.
With their interest in retaining the Victoria Cup erased after their 32-18 loss to Uganda in Kampala, pride is at stake when Kenya face the Sables who outscored them 42-24 at their Harare backyard.
But before attention turned to the forthcoming encounter, national head coach, Michael ‘Tank’ Otieno blamed lack of concentration in Kampala on Saturday for the loss to Uganda who recovered from 18-10 with minutes remaining to top their rivals.
“We should have gotten our four or five tries early enough we had the opportunities to do that and we did not take them. The second mistake was we relaxed in the last ten minutes thinking we had sealed off the game at 18-10.
“Four defensive blunders cost us the game and it was very painful. There are issues we have to put right within this week since the game on Saturday is at home and we are playing a very polished side,” Otieno said.
He added he would use the same playing unit that made the Kampala trip where Kenya retained the Elgon Cup that was contested concurrently with the Victoria trophy on points difference.
“I have not gauged the players yet but we could have one or two tactical changes to the starting line-up for Saturday,” the tactician expressed.
Speaking during the cheque presentation, KRU chair laid down the gauntlet for the side stating, “I will tell my coach that the boys should take that opportunity of playing in an open stadium to go out and win. Going forward, we should embrace this opportunity and we are looking forward to hosting international games in other regions.”
“This is an indication of what we want to do as a Union in future. We appeal to the Sports Ministry to make our stadiums multi-sport friendly to enable federations cut their costs on infrastructural development,” the chair went on.
Wananchi CEO, Richard Bell noted, “Hopefully, this will be among many. Bringing the game to Nyayo Stadium, there is more space for Wananchi (public) to enjoy. To the team coach, we need a win on Saturday.”
“The Sports Ministry should reach out to the private sector to improve the sports infrastructure through the Private Public Partnership to help develop our facilities for our sports persons to enjoy international standards,” Bell added.
Kenya required a bonus point win in Kampala and a huge win at home against Zimbabwe to retain the Elgon Cup and were on course of achieving that before their late capitulation let in Uganda for the win.