PHOTO | FILE Kenya’s Horace Otieno (left) is tackled by Argentina’s Gaston Revol during their Pool C match of the 2012 Tokyo Sevens on March 31. Kenya lost 21-24 to Australia in the Bowl semi-finals of the South Africa Sevens in Port Elizabeth on December 9, 2012.
Kenya collected only five points from South Africa Sevens on Sunday when they lost 21-24 to Australia in Bowl semi-finals at Nelson Mandela Bay, Port Elizabeth.
It was tough luck for Kenya as they failed to make to the main Cup for the first this season, having reached the cup semi-finals in Gold Coast and Dubai, finishing fourth and third respectively.
Kenya had beaten Scotland 19-17 to make the Bowl semi-finals with tries from Dennis Ombachi, Horace Otieno and Humphrey Kayange.
Head coach Mike Friday hard warned of a tough third leg after having to do without five of his key players Collins Injera, Oscar Ouma, Biko Adema, Michael Wanjala and Sydney Ashioya.
Friday said there was need to understand that he had three debutants – Oscar Ayodi, Billy Odhiambo and Fabian Olando – and half the squad with three or less caps.
“They have to learn on the job in what is a very harsh environment. The player unavailability certainly disrupted us this weekend and that is frustrating for any coach,” said Friday.
Friday acknowledged that his defence has not been at the required standard hence the need to ensure that they are all comfortable with the system. “We need to know roles and what decision to make at what time,” explained Friday.
However, Friday is happy with his effective attack saying that part of the game is developing well. “We will also be able to go hard out on conditioning after Christmas to continue to get the gains in this area,” said Friday, hoping that he will have a full squad to select from for the remaining legs.
He urged all stakeholders to resolve and plan to ensure that the players can be available.
“This challenge can be done away with proper proactive planning early hence KRU should take ownership with education and employment stakeholders and make it happen,” said Friday.
Greg Jeloudev broke to score for a good conversion for Australia to lead7-0 but Patrice Agunda struck back for Kenya for his own conversion to level 7-7.
A great tackle in the corner by Ombachi prevented a certain try for the Australians but they still got over for their second try through Peter Lee.
A missed conversion put them ahead 12-7 only for Kayange to break from the 22 and set up Agunda for his second. The conversion put Kenya ahead 14-12 at the break.
A high tackle on resumption saw William Ambaka sin-binned as the Aussies cashed on it to score through Jeloudev and lead 17-14.
Kenya upheld possession for some good display and in the process Agunda produced big hand-off to lay Kayange for a try that was converted to lead 21-17 in the see-saw showpiece.
The Aussies claim the restart ball, passed the ball around with a sloppy Kenyan defense curving in to let Will Miller score the winning try that was converted.