NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 27 – Kenya Sevens boss Paul Feeney says he expects a stern challenge for his boys when they parade against Hamilton 7s champions New Zealand, Fiji and Wales in Group A at next weekend’s Sydney 7s in Australia.
The tactician admits his team will face a tough time against some of the best teams in the Series, but remains optimistic it will be a chance for him to see how much his side has grown.
“Crazy pools; very tough with New Zealand and Fiji and definitely Wales has improved very much. I think it is great to have this kind of pools so that we can test ourselves against the best. It is better to face them now and find out where we are as a group,” the tactician stated.
He added; It will be a great challenge for us and after we find out the good, the bad and the ugly of our game, we will have time to fix our problems and work on our strengths.”
Shujaa finished eight at Hamilton having won two matches, lost a similar number and drew one.
Feeney was disappointed with the day one performance where they dropped a lead against England to lose and drew against Japan.
On the second day though they responded with victory over South Africa, but then dropped the pace in the seventh-place play-off against Argentina, losing a first half lead to go down and finish eight.
“We had a good first half against England but in the second half we couldn’t get our hands on the ball. Against Japan, we let ourselves down by drawing. It was a poor performance from us but we had a meeting that night and I was pleased with the response from the boys against South Africa,” Feeney noted.
Heading to Sydney, the fourth stop of the World Series, Feeney will need to work on the endurance of his side as they have given massive shifts in every opening half, but ended up losing the step in the second halves.
Meanwhile, Feeney was full of praise for youngster Geoffrey Okwach who made his first tour with the team and said he showed his worth with a good performance every time he was called upon.
Okwach who was on Friday named Kenya’s most promising sports personality was the top try scorer at the Safari Sevens and showed his immense talent having just earned promotion from the junior team, Chipu.
Among the players who are also expected to play a vital role for the team in Sydney is Collins Injera who over the weekend played his 80th tournament.
Injera has just returned after recovering from a shoulder injury and showed he still has it with a good performance for the team, cementing his place as the second highest scorer ever in the series.
Sydney 7s draw:
Pool A: New Zealand, Kenya, Fiji, Wales
Pool B: France, Argentina, Samoa, South Africa
Pool C: Australia, USA, Scotland, Japan
Pool D: England, Canada, Ireland, Spain.