Five things we have learnt from rugby 7’s team (Especially No. 3)
Kenya finally managed a run of positive performances at this season’s HSBC Sevens in South Africa, despite the same culminating in a 24-5 defeat at the hands of Canada in the Bowl final.
Having lost convincingly to the host nation, alongside Wales and the USA in the Main Cup pool games and relegated to the Bowl after the first day of action at Port Elizabeth, the Shujaa recovered in style come Sunday, by outclassing Japan 26-12, and edging France 12-10 in the category’s quarter and semi final games respectively.
But what five things we have learnt from this side’s thus far?
1. “Rookie” players will come good.
We all expected the absence of senior players owing to a contractual dispute with the Kenya Rugby Union (KRU) to affect the team’s performances. But we didn’t expect the absent players replacements to struggle this match.
The encouraging factor however is that – regards to the games against Japan and France, we saw the youngsters come good and dominate long spells of the match whilst holding their nerve at the back.
And as the team captain Andrew Amonde rightly put it after the semi-final win over France “the rookies will eventually come good”.
2. Good riddance, Mr Treu.
He might have come with a big reputation, that almost the size of the tallest building in the City, but South African trainer Paul Treu struggled to showcase the same in his time here.
During his stint, the performances were to say the least inconsistent, and the results disappointing, fuelling talks that the players had failed to confirm to his tactics.
While it is rumoured that a bulk of the players were happy to see him leave, it is a fact that he had little sympathies from the fans following the resignation announcement as well.
3. Available senior players should be recalled.
A majority of the players sent away by the Union after the well publiscized fallout need to be recalled. They still have alot to serve this team, and especially during the international competitions.
Whilst some of the pros have since managed to land lucrative deals in Asia and Europe, the vast remainder need to be recalled to bolster the team’s ranking at the IRB Sevens, a tournament that will be used as a qualification yardstick for the 2016 Olympic Games.
Besides, with reports that the available players in camp were at times not giving their all in “solidarity” with the suspended players, the Union should take advantage of these opportunity to effect changes to recall the players.
4. Big task awaits next Shujaa manager.
This has always been the case. A triumph for Kenya over the likes of South Africa, New Zealand, Australia and the likes will always be considered an upset by the international rugby forklore.
Problem is, the gap between Kenya and the aforementioned teams is – albeit worryingly – widening instead of narrowing considering the number of times our side was overhwlemed during the match and suffered huge defeats in games involving these sides, or even the likes of Wales and Canada in recent times.
The new man in charge will be considered a god, if he can not bridge this gap, but also bring back the consistent we last witnessed under former English trainer Mike Friday
5. KRU should pout its house in order.
The Ngong road based institution is slowly generating into the genetical mess that Kenyan sports institutions are known to be.
Reports of in fighting, mismanagement of funds, back stabbing and worse still – interfering in first team affairs continue to crop up once again, as confessed by both Treu and Friday.
The repercussions of going down this road are well documented. So it is time Mwangi Muthee and his cronies oblige or be thrown out, if this action will be for the better of our teams.