NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 15 – Having lost their opening Repechage World Cup Qualification game 65-19 against Canada last weekend, Kenya Simbas head coach Ian Snook will be looking for an improved performance and a win in their second match against Hong Kong on Saturday.
Snook’s charges will line up in Marseille knowing only a win will keep their hopes of World Cup qualification alive and the tactician has called on his boys to put in a shift against Hong Kong, a side that is very familiar to them.
“They are a good all-round team who are well organised and have several attacking threats, so we will need to step up a few levels in our game in all aspects if we are to beat them.” said Snook in reference to the opposition expected from Hong Kong.
Looking back at the game against Canada and the improvements expected, Snook said;
“The set pieces went okay after the initial hiccup at the scrum. We had some good attacking opportunities but were a bit rusty and made too many mistakes. The big work on has been maintaining our phase attack and defensive patterns.”
Hong Kong and Kenya are familiar foes and this will be their seventh meeting in the space of two years.
The two sides first met in a Test Match at the Impala and RFUEA Grounds in August 2016 with Kenya winning both matches 24-18 and 24-17 respectively.
They met a year later playing two matches as well, the Simbas holding them to a 19-19 draw in the first match where former coach Jerome Paarwater fielded a second-string side.
Hong Kong came better for the second tie played just four days later winning 43-34 at the RFUEA ground.
Later on in November, the Simbas travelled for the Hong Kong Cup of Nations where they lost 40-30 to their hosts.
With the close scores between the two sides, Snook believes the Simbas stand a good chance of winning, a victory that might put them in a contending spot for a World Cup slot.
Hong Kong started their campaign with a 29-6 loss at the hands of Germany who will be facing Canada in the other in the second match of the day.
-Additional info courtesy KRU