NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 14- Kenya Sevens head coach Innocent ‘Namcos’ Simiyu has admitted the side still has a lot to do ahead of the World Rugby Series season opener in Dubai next month.
Speaking after the team jetted back to the country from the Safland Sevens in Namibia which was SImiyu’s first outing in charge, the tactician remains optimistic the team is on course and will use the remaining three weeks to firm up and ensure they are ready for the new season.
Shujaa finished second after losing out 31-10 to defending champions South Africa who paraded a strong side.
“The weekend was very good, we had a long week with the boys in Namibia and really pushed them at a high performance camp and they have responded well. They have met our expectations as per where we think they should be but we are still far and there’s a lot of work to be done we hope we can try and catch up before Dubai,” Simiyu, a former Kenya 7s and 15s captain said.
The side played twice against the South Africans, losing 22-0 in the group stages before meeting again in the final.
Simiyu who included four debutants in the squad to Namibia has been concentrating on the fitness of the players as well as trying out different combinations.
“In the first game against South Africa we put out a young side for us to gauge them against the best. Then also we wanted to see the experienced guys and how they can perform against the best and then use the results as a benchmark to see where we are,” Simiyu said.
He adds; “The results show we still have a lot to do going to Dubai. As at now we are concentrating on laying a good foundation for the whole season and I am quite optimistic we will perform very well,” the 33-year old added.
Going to Dubai, Kenya are pooled in a tough group that has Australia, Japan and France. Simiyu expects it tough.
“The pool is quite tough. It is an exciting pool because all teams play an exciting brand of rugby. We will profile them and know their weaknesses and how we can take advantage to come up with strategies to win,” he noted.
Kenya performed well last season and apart from managing their second highest ever points haul of 98, they won the main cup for the first time, dazzling opponents to win the Singapore leg of the series in May.