NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 6- Kenya Sevens head coach Innocent Simiyu hopes the side can build on from their start of the 2017/18 HSBC Sevens World Series season last week in Dubai when they line up for the second stop of the series in Cape Town, South Africa this weekend.
Shujaa kicked off their season with a seventh spot finish which earned them 10 points after losing out to Australia in the fifth place semi-final, following a narrow loss to New Zealand’s All Blacks in the quarters.
“We started the season well and the boys put their best foot forward. We are happy so far with the performance and believe we can build on that. We need to execute better as we have the potential to close games early. The key focus in Dubai was to get our game going and we achieved this,” Simiyu told the official Kenya Rugby Union website.
Shujaa arrived in the South African tourist city of Cape Town on Monday and will have a whole week to work on the errors from the first series and hope for improvement in a tournament they reached the semi-finals last time out.
The Kenyan boys will battle out with hosts and defending champions South Africa, France and Russia in Group A. They played South Africa in Dubai where the match ended in an embarrassing 48-5 defeat.
“Our key focus in Cape Town is to have the boys consistently perform to their full potential and better last year’s cup quarterfinal performance,” Simiyu said.
In cape Town, Simiyu will have to do without two key players who before picking up injuries put up class performances. Dennis Ombachi and winger Collins Injera have already returned home after picking up ankle and hamstring injuries respectively.
In their place, Simiyu has called in powerhouse Oscar Ouma who missed Dubai due to personal commitments while Menengai Oilers’ Sam Muregi will be in line for a series debut.
Also called up is Arthur Owira who replaces another Oilers talent Eric Ombasa who had been initially called up but failed to travel.
“Oscar brings leadership, experience and raw power to our game which will be very vital for a good start in Cape Town. Muregi adds pace to the team, his understanding of the game and try scoring ability are second to none while Arthur has had a very good sevens season with his club KCB and his work-rate on the pitch will help us a lot at the breakdown,” Simiyu said of his three new faces in the squad.