Rugby Rugby

Month-long break crucial, says Chenge

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Kenya Simbas skipper Davis Chenge dives in to make a try during the Rugby Africa Gold Cup cum Elgon Cup tie against Uganda at the RFUEA Ground on July 7, 2018. PHOTO/Raymond Makhaya

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 13- Kenya Simbas skipper Davis Chenge believes the month-long break before their next Rugby Africa Gold Cup match will be vital for them to re-energize after playing three back-to-back muscle-draining matches so far.

The Simbas have won against Morocco away as well as Zimbabwe and Uganda at home, all three matches being hard hitting games that have left the side waning in strength.

“We have had a very tough three weeks playing three back-to-back games and it would be a nice welcome for us to have a break. The break will be good for rest and recovery and also work on the things that have let us down in the first three matches so this is such a good thing,” Chenge said.

The Simbas next match will be against Tunisia at home on August 11 before they travel to Namibia a week later for what would be a crunch tie against the hosts, one that will likely determine who heads to the World Cup in Japan next year.

Kenya 15s players hurdle together before their Rugby Africa Gold Cup match against Zimbabwe at the RFUEA ground on June 30, 2018. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

The boys have been pushed to the wall in all their matches and needed two tries from Dalmus Chituyi late on to snatch a win from the jaws of defeat against Zimbabwe. Uganda also posed the same danger, but the SImbas managed to hold on despite a second half purge.

“Uganda has always been a tough opponent and we expected the game to be tough but we were able to keep our heads and win. Credit to the Ugandans they came in the second half more mentally sharper than us; some of our players were bit tired, but we dug deep and got victory,” the skipper further added.

Ian Snook’s charges are placed second in the Gold Cup standings with 12 points, three behind leaders Namibia who have also won all their three matches but picked up bonus points in all.

If Kenya wins against Tunisia and Namibia beat Zimbabwe, the final match of the competition will be a cracker. The winner earns a direct ticket to Japan while the second placed team will play a repacharge tournament in France.

Chenge is meanwhile worried they have not been able to pick bonus points win, but assures that the team’s focus is on getting a win against Namibia

Kenya Simbas players celebrate after beating Uganda to clinch the Elgon Cup in a match that also doubled up as a Rugby Africa Gold Cup tie at the RFUEA Ground on July 7, 2018. PHOTO/Raymond Makhaya

“Our chase for the World Cup is still on track but our main focus is winning remaining games. If we cannot become number one then we need to ensure we finish second to have a chance with the repacharge competition,” the skipper said.

He added; “We have to go a match at a time and before looking at Namibia, we need to keep our eyes on Tunisia and ensure we win. You cannot underrate anyone because in this competition, every team is prepared,” the captain firther added.

Meanwhile, assistant coach Murray Roulston is set to depart the team and will not be on the bench against Tunisia when the Gold Cup returns.

Murray who announced his resignation before the Zimbabwe game says there is no possibility that he will rescind his decision, saying it had come to a point of no return.

“I am going home soon.. nothing can be done,,, not at this stage, not at this moment,” the coach said after the win over Uganda last weekend.

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