Kenya 15s rugby team remains focused on Japan 2019 World Cup qualification with Senegal at the doorstep for their third fixture of the ongoing Africa Gold Cup tournament. In the match to be played at 2pm on Saturday at the RFUEA grounds, head coach Jerome Paarwater has expressed his charges’ hunger for a World Cup qualification but first he believes they have to ram Senegal out of their way.
“Senegal will be coming with a big fight making it a tough match but that does not imply that we are going to let them mess with our structures or qualification targets. We will use a different approach against them as there were things that we worked on which will be necessary to steer us through that match,” said Paarwater.
Senegal will be coming into that match off two losses against Uganda and Namibia pointing Kenya as the favourites despite Kenya registering a 33-33 draw with Uganda in June and an emphatic 100-10 win last weekend.
With it being the third round of the Gold Cup, Senegal will be struggling to garner point(s) from the encounter as their 2018 Gold Cup fate lies in their own hands since the bottom two sides will be relegated to the Silver Cup after the remaining two rounds.
Kenya’s run has placed the Simbas on the second place on the standings with seven points off a bonus point win and a draw while Senegal has a point off losing by less than seven points to Uganda in their opener match.
Simbas assistant coach Dominique Habimana has also voiced his senior Jerome Paarwater’s sentiments on their expectation today emphasising how determined the Simbas are to catch up on the log after losing two points courtesy of registering a stalemate with Uganda on June 24.
“Senegal are no pushovers, they stay in the game to the end so we can’t underestimate them and they want to play. They are looking for scores so we have to stay concentrated throughout the game and execute on the plan we are putting in place.
We dropped two points unnecessarily so we are trying to catch up meaning that we cannot afford to lose or draw against Senegal,” said Habimana. Coming off a 95-0 loss against Namibia, Senegal will be over cautious today as the Simbas backline cannot be matched by any other side, a fact which Tunisia admitted they were aware about yet they went ahead to get a thrashing which saw them leave the RFUEA grounds in tears.
Simbas vice-captain Darwin Mukidza and his fellow winger Jacob Ojee who scored a hat-trick against Tunisia will be the pillars for Kenya when it comes to attack as skipper Wilson Kopondo commands the forwards whose job will be to gain more ground for Mukidza and his pod.