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Ochollah confident of navigating off pool of death

Nakuru RFC head coach Mitch Ochollah high fives his players during the Driftwood Sevens in Mombasa on September 3, 2017.Photo/TIMOTHY OLOBULU

NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 8- Losing Driftwood Sevens finalists Nakuru RFC have found themselves dumped in the middle of the pool of death at Kabeberi Sevens, the second leg of the National Sevens Circuit this weekend, facing Kenya Harlequin, KCB and Kisii RFC.

But Head coach Mitch Ochollah wears a brace face that Wanyore can still navigate off the group and make it into a second consecutive Main Cup quarter final with straight wins.

“Respect to every team there but I believe that we have a squad that can make it off into the quarters. The players look very sharp ahead of this weekend and the focus remains the same from Mombasa. We have to go in and take control of the group,” Ochollah, who joined Nakuru prior to season kick-off, said.

Basing on their performance in Mombasa, the tactician has made two tactical changes, Gramwell Bunyasi coming in for his first appearance of the season alongside Collins Onyango replacing Davis Namusasi and Martin Muita.

Nakuru RFC players at teh Driftwood Sevens in Mombasa.Photo/TIMOTHY OLOBULU

“We needed a bit of speed and creativity in the middle and that is why we made those two changes. Our finishing in Mombasa was a bit off because we didn’t score most of the tries we created. We wanted to get some pace on our play and that is why the two fantastic players come in,” the coach explained.

Nakuru won two and drew one of their group matches in Mombasa last weekend. In the Main Cup quarters, they beat Kabras 12-7 and advanced to wade off a tough Mean Machine side 7-0 in the semi finals.

Ochollah maintains the minimum target this weekend remains getting into the semi-finals, but admits a shot at their first Main Cup title of the season isn’t a far-fetched idea.

“We surpassed our goals last weekend and it is only a matter of mentality this weekend that we can go one better. If you are a dreamer, you are an achiever. We want to bring in the brotherhood and hard working nature to Kabeberi. I believe in the boys and we will go there and give it a shot,” the tactician, referred by his peers as Mojo notes.

-Pool of death-

Kenya Harlequins in action against Mwamba RFC during the Driftwood Sevens in Mombasa on September 2, 2017. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

His main opponents in the group KCB and Quins have done changes in their squads after failing to hit their targets in Mombasa. KCB were underwhelming and failed to reach the Main Cup quarters. They have made four changes heading to Kabeberi.

Arthur Owira, Isaac Njoroge, Mike Wanjala and Elphas Otieno have been drafted in to replace Ken Moseti, Brian Omondi, Benjamin Ojema and Sam Asati with Michael Kimwele listed as the team’s 13th player.

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The bankers will once again rely on the experience of national team players Darwin Mukidza, Jacob Ojee and Davis Chenge as well as the prowess of their top scorer Ahmed Shabaan.

Kenya Harlequins Ginton Adongo dives to touch down during their match against Mwamba in the Driftwood Sevens.Photo/TIMOTHY OLOBULU

Meanwhile, Kenya Harlequins who finished second in the series last season will hope for a better performance playing on their home ground and head coach Joash Odhalo has made his intent known, throwing three of his new signings into the fray.

Aaron Ofoyrwoth, Solomon Okia and Joseph Aredo are set to make their National Sevens Circuit debuts coming in for Edward Shitanda, Pius Shiundu and Ginton Adongo who is out for long term after suffering knee ligament damage in Mombasa.

Speaking to Capital Sport in Mombasa last weekend, Odhalo registered disappointment with their performance where they finished 10th but is optimistic of a better show this time round especially with a few tactical changes.

Nakuru RFC squad:

Philip owuor, Cassius Omollo, Monate Akwei, George Kimani, Walter Okoth, Geoff Ominde, Don Aluoch, Collins Onyango, Brian Maina, Kelvin Kioko, Crispin Onyango, Gramwell Bunyasi

Kenya Harlequins squad:

Herman Humwa, Roxy Dan Suchi, Edwin Okemwa, Jared Owinyo, Kevin Angote, Newton Partet, Eric Shikuku, Aaron Ofoyrwoth, Joseph Aredo, Stanley Lunani, Dennis Otieno, Solomon Okia, Sosthine Oloo.

KCB squad:

Davis Chenge, Martin Owila, Vincent Onyala, Stafford Abeka, Arthur Owira, Michael Wanjala, Michael Kimwele, Ahmed Shaban, Darwin Mukidza, Jacob Ojee, Elphas Otieno, Isaac Njoroge, Collins Nato.

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