Shujaa tough assignment in Dubai

By Alex Njue
Wednesday, March 31st, 2021
Shujaa take on Argentina at the Madrid Sevens in February. Photo/PD/ALEXNJUE
In summary

Kenya Sevens rugby team is looking forward to a good Dubai Sevens outing this Friday and Saturday.

 According to Shujaa coach Innocent ‘Namcos’ Simiyu, the eight-team round robin competition will be a perfect platform to execute their plans and also gauge the team’s improvement against tougher opponents.

 “I expect good performances from my squad both individually and as a team in executing our attack and defence patterns. We expect tougher matches than Madrid, it will be more competitive here.

“Our key focus on this tour is a 100 per cent execution on the first two phases of play. Hopefully with a good performance from the team we should be able to improve on the Madrid results and win a tournament in Dubai,” Simiyu told People Sport.

The invitational Emirates Cup has been organised to help teams in their Olympics preparations and the last qualifier - repechage - in Monaco two months later.

 Neighbouring Uganda Cranes will be part of the eight-team party in Dubai that also includes Argentina, Canada, Japan, France, Spain and Chile.

 Uganda Cranes head coach Tolbert Onyango will be keen to get his charges back in a highly competitive environment in the hope of delivering Olympic qualification in June to join South Africa and Kenya.

 The Cranes finished eighth in the HSBC Challenger series campaign the last season and are yet to play the HSBC Series as a core team but have played several invited legs.

 In February, Shujaa were Argentina’s whipping boys in Madrid Sevens despite good performances against the likes of USA, hosts Spain, Chile and Portugal.

 Shujaa will be deploying the services of experienced skipper Andrew Amonde to be assisted by Billy Odhiambo in the Dubai event that will see Shujaa meet Canada and France for the first time this year.

 Amonde missed the Spanish tour last month but was pleased by his team mates for reaching both cup finals.

  “Dubai is going to be tougher than the Madrid tour because we are going to meet a different quality of opposition. 

“We know the opponents are going to test us all round but we have been preparing for glory this time round,” said Amonde.