Kenya 7s Take on Wellington & Sydney
The Kenya 7s will be back in action at the weekend when they take on the 3rd leg of the 2015/16 season, in Wellington, New Zealand, after which they will head to Sydney, Australia.
To take on these two legs, the technical bench settled for a real exciting 12 man squad. Led by the returning Andrew Amonde, the squad is probably one of the most impressive in recent times. Think the technical bench has struck just about the perfect balance between continuity from Cape Town and the extra push we need to get us to the next level.
The return of the stalwart Humphrey Kayange is probably the highlight of the squad alongside the explosive Bush Mwale and the nimble footed Eden Agero. What caught my eye though was the inclusion of the Mnyore wizard Donald Oluoch. Don was an integral part of the series winning Nakuru side, lets hope his wizardry dazzles on the international stage as it did here.
With Andrew back in the squad it will be interesting to see how we line up in the forwards, will Ambaka move back to center? Collo will probably remain at sweeper where he thrived in the opening legs, with Biko at fly half. Whichever way we line up, we have a very solid squad here.
After finishing fourth in Cape Town, we are pooled alongside Australia, Canada and Portugal in Pool D. A manageable pool from the looks of it, a lot better than we have been having in the recent past.
We kick off our campaign against Canada, who are in 13th spot, 12 points behind us, off a Shield title in Dubai and a Bowl semi final exit from Cape Town. At first they might look like a push over, but on closer scrutiny, especially of their performances in the previous season, this might just have been a tough start for the Canadians.
We should be wary of this Canada side who will most probably be looking to get back to form in this series and will want to make a statement early on.
Up next will be Portugal, who should be our easier opponents in this Pool, the Portuguese are in 16th spot with 2 points to show so far off two shield semi final exits.
Our final match up of day one will be against Australia, hopefully at this point it will be to decide who will finish top of the pool. Australia are currently in 8th, 2 points ahead of us, they lost the Plate final in Dubai following this up with a Plate semi exit at the Cape.
This will be our second meeting with Australia, the first one ended in a 14-12 loss in Dubai. The Shujaa were guilty of letting go of a 12-0 lead with 5 minutes to play. This time round they will definitely be looking to keep the lead to the final buzzer.
Expectations will be high in this leg, and for good reasons too, after the show in Cape Town, we will be expecting more of the same. This is one of the easier pools we have been handed in quite a while, and we have the personnel to not only replicate what we did at the Cape, but go further.
Here are the local timings for the matches, yes masaa ya wachawi zimerudi…
Kenya v Canada – 2.58 am
Kenya v Portugal – 6.00 am
Kenya v Australia – 9.38 am
Happy hunting Lions….