Kenya draw tough opponents in Glasgow Sevens
Kenya Sevens rugby team has been handed a tough Pool ‘B’ at the Glasgow Sevens that includes IRB Series leaders South Africa in the penultimate leg of the season.
Pool ‘B’ also has third-ranked New Zealand and Samoa, who are place ninth in the Series for the Glasgow that runs on May 9 to 10.
Kenya dropped one place down to 13th with 33 points after a poor showing in Tokyo at the weekend even as Kenya Rugby Union (KRU) clarified that the team is in no danger of being relegated.
Only one core team from the current 15 will be dropped for the 2015/2016 season.
As things stand, Japan, who are placed 15th with 17 points, are headed for relegation. Eight points separate Japan and 14th-placed Portugal.
Kenya performed poorly to only get four points from the last two legs in Hong Kong and Tokyo.
They won Shield in Hong Kong before reaching Shield semi-final in Tokyo.
In Tokyo, Kenya Sevens started strongly with a 27-5 defeat of Mike Friday’s USA. But Kenya lost subsequent matches going down 26-0 to South Africa and 26-10 to Canada to drop to Bowl.
Kenya then lost to Australia 14-5 in Bowl quarter-finals and 17-12 to Argentina in the Shield semis to collect a single point from the leg.
It’s that dismal show that head coach Felix Ochieng has to address if he has to continue with his job.
The team’s overall performance in defence and attack has been wanting as Ochieng gambled with fielding, resting the team that beat USA against South Africa.
“We didn’t perform well as we expected hence there is a lot of work to do moving forward,” said skipper Andrew Amonde.
“We need to be clinical in defence and attack. We have also been losing possession easily.”
After claiming a first title in more than two years with victory in Tokyo, England are top seeds and head Pool ‘A’.
England will face France, Australia (the side they eclipsed in the standings after victory in Tokyo to occupy the fourth spot in the race for Olympic qualification) and the 2015-16 series new core side Russia.
Fiji, four points behind the Blitzboks in the standings with two rounds remaining, will face hosts Scotland, Wales and Portugal in Pool ‘C’, while Canada, Japan, USA and Argentina are in Pool ‘D’.