Rugby Rugby

Not 100 again, Tunisia tell Kenya Simbas

Kenya 15’s Youngster Steve ‘Security’ Otieno powers past Tunisia’s Ashraf Dhif during a Rugby Africa Gold Cup match played at the RFUEA Ground on July 8, 2017. PHOTO/Raymond Makhaya

NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 10- The last time Tunisia’s Rugby team visited the RFUEA Ground in Nairobi, they ended up soaking 100 points and managing only 10 in a Rugby Africa Gold Cup match on July 8 2017.

A year and a month on, the North Africans are back in Nairobi but this time round, they have vowed to do all within their means to avoid an embarrassing loss and if possible, shock Kenya to a victory at their own stomping ground.

Head coach Jaco Stoumann speaking to Capital Sport after their final training session on the match venue on Friday evening said he has brought in a stronger squad and they have picked massive experience since then.

“It is not easy suffering a big loss and it stays in the mind for a while. But we have moved on since then and the guys coming here are better than last year so I promise we will make sure it doesn’t happen again. The boys are focused and ready for the job,” the South African coach said.

He admits it will be a tough game against the Kenyans who have won all their three games and sit second in the standings, but he reterates that hos boys are well prepared to come for victory.

He has also downplayed the effects the Nairobi altitude as well as the early afternoon heat due to the early 2pm kick off might have on them.

Tunisia players line up before a previous match

“We have been here for a week now and the guys have acclimatized; we are not scared with the altitude anymore. The weather is nice and I am sure it won’t have an effect on us. The only thing is that our players are not used to such long travels but at least we have settled well,” he noted.

The coach added; “We will push them (Kenya). If they want victory, they have to work for it and we won’t give it to them.”

Tunisia come into the tie beaming with confidence after beating Zimbabwe in their last match and they hope they can keep the same momentum and pick a positive result to thrust them into their final game at home against Morocco, a North African derby.

“We have to keep our momentum like we did against Zimbabwe and the first 30 minutes against Uganda. We need to keep the ball and do the work. If we remain disciplined and remain even on the pitch, then we can be competitive,” the coach noted.

Meanwhile, Stoumann is confident the team will not be relegated and says the boys are focused on taking a game at a time.