Rugby Rugby

Treu has to go big in Japan


AMONDE-FIJINAIROBI, Kenya, March 19- Paul Treu has no choice than to make it big in Japan to restore confidence he is the man to lead Kenya to the 2016 Olympics in Rio when the Tokyo 7s scrum-off on Saturday.

The former South Africa coach has failed thus far to lead the team to the heights expected of them and prior to their departure on Monday, his boss and Kenya Rugby Union (KRU) chief, Mwangi Muthee, stated that even the Head of State, Uhuru Kenyatta, was looking forward to good results.

Although the highly paid tactician and his technical team are not under immediate pressure, Treu knows he is running out of tournaments to convince his doubters with the team set to travel straight the seventh leg in Hong Kong in a week’s time.

Another failure to make the Main Cup quarters in the echoes of the fourth and fifth legs of the series in Las Vegas and Wellington will only serve to crank up the heat, with the side slipping back almost unnoticed when they returned from their tour of USA and New Zealand in a bid to avoid scrutiny.

Having reached two Cup quarters in Dubai and Port Elizabeth, Treu has set the bar high for his troops at this weekend’s Tokyo 7s in Pool B alongside his former employers, South Africa, Argentina and hosts Japan before heading to Hong Kong on March 28 to 30.

“This is a challenge that we are ready for even though there will be no enough time for the players to recover since we will have only two training sessions on Thursday and Friday.

“I’m happy the boys are picking up my style of play though it will take time for them to master it but if the few that have learnt apply it during the match, I’m sure we will register victory since it worked in our last legs in USA and New Zealand,” the former Blitzbokke tactician stated.

However, it will not be rosy for Kenya to ease past the group stage since they open their campaign against South Africa whom they failed to overcome on two previous occasions in George and Dubai.

To make matters worse, while Treu, is embracing the contact kind of play that has seen them ranked 11th in terms of tries scored this season, their main opponents Blitzbokke have the third-highest tries scored-per-game and second-lowest conceded.

They will then take on a tricky Argentina outfit that are currently above them on the log with six points advantage in a game that will determine their passage to the Main Cup quarters.

It will take experience and technique for Treu’s charges to break through Argentina’s back row since they are the third team in the lowest conceded tries charts.

But the Kenyan side can take the advantage of the South Americans in attacking since they lose ball possession cheaply at the tackle.

Treu’s side will wrap their preliminary round obligations against hosts who possess home advantage even though this is their first outing this season being outside the core teams of the series.

They should expect a paced game based on dynamic handling and keeping the ball alive against more physical opposition.

Kenya is boosted by the return of captain Andrew Amonde, who missed the last two legs due to a shoulder injury.

The South African has only made one change to his squad, handing little known Lunch Bar Quins sweeper Maxwell Theuri his maiden call up, even though Treu said he will hardly give him a match.

He has no choice than to make it big in Japan if the murmurs against him are to remain just that.