Rekindle lost glory in local rugby pitch

Friday, May 26th, 2023 04:00 | By
Kenya Simbas into the Rugby Africa Cup final after edging Algeria
Kenya rugby team. PHOTO/Kenya rugby/Facebook.

Rugby in Kenya is in a quandary and Kenya Rugby Union (KRU) has a daunting task to restore the lost glory of the national Kenya Sevens Rugby Team (Shujaa) which was inexplicably relegated from HSBC World Series over the weekend.

Simply put, Kenya is reeling in downright shame since it will be the first time in 19 years that it will be missing out on the World Sevens Series.

Shujaa was demoted to the Challenger series following a 12-7 loss to Canada in the playoff finals in London that marked a smack in the face of Kenyan rugby fans who have been so passionate and loyal to the team to a fault.

The team will now have to win the Challenger Series set for next season as well as Africa 7s, which will serve as the qualifiers for the Paris Olympics in France.

While the school of thought is that the humiliating defeat was largely attributed to the team’s failure to stick to the game plan it hatched during training sessions, we want to believe that there are underlying issues that were a detriment to its success and which urgently need to be addressed moving forward.

A layman would have observed that Shujaa conceded a litany of unnecessary tries which was occasioned by poor defensive tactics which bore a true indication of lack of enough training.

There was also an element of lack of self-confidence amongst the players which belied the team’s dominance in the World Sevens Series that endeared it to fans outside Kenyan borders.

We must acknowledge that spilled water cannot all be gathered up and it’s upon Kenya Rugby Union to devise ways in which the team shall bounce back to the international scene to save the country from the ignominy of the reversal in this revered sport.

The announcement by KRU chairman Alexander Mutai that a comprehensive review of the 2022-2023 World Sevens Series towards correcting the frailties of Shujaa is laudable but we hope this is not empty rhetoric, particularly in the face of the embarrassing loss that has condemned it to the second-tier action.  It’s prudent that the governing body puts in place a roadmap for Kenya’s immediate return to the prestigious competition.-

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