HONG KONG, Hong Kong- Kenya Simbas head coach Jerome Paarwater remains confident and has chosen to focus on the positives ahead of the second match against Russia in the ongoing Hong Kong Cup of Nations at the King’s Park Sports Grounds.
Kenya suffered a 23-3 defeat at the hands of Chile in their opening match on Friday and face an uphill task when they take on the Russians who ranked 20th in the world and started their Cup of Nations campaign with a narrow 16-13 win over hosts Hong Kong.
Paarwater, speaking after the loss, maintained a positive attitude despite the setback, “We didn’t get the result we planned to. Looking at next year, it is a big learning curve for us and that is why we are on this tour.
“We didn’t capitalise on our first half opportunities and Chile punished us in the second half, getting in behind us to score two tries,” Paarwater remarked.
Kenya are pooled alongside Chile, Russia and hosts Hong Kong in the week-long tournament that culminates on November 18 at the Hong Kong Football Club.
Other teams include Zimbabwe, Portugal and Papua New Guinea.
The South-African coach also chose to pick some positives from the first fixture, ”We had a good defence, our set pieces were better but we need to work on our exit strategies,” he said.
On Tuesday morning, Paarwater named his squad to face Russia, with a total of eight changes being made to the starting line-up.
Oscar Simiyu, Dennis Karani, Lyle Asiligwa, Biko Adema, Peter Kilonzo and Vincent Mose who all came off the bench on Friday get to start this encounter alongside Martin Owilah and Alex Olaba who didn’t feature in the Simbas match-day one squad.
Every match the Kenyans play in Hong Kong remain in memory of their fallen brother and former Kenya 15s player Mike Okombe, who passed away last week.
Simbas squad to play Russia
15. Vincent Mose, 14. Darwin Mukidza, 13. Peter Kilonzo, 12. Leo Owade, 11. Alex Olaba, 10. Biko Adema, 9. Lyle Asiligwa,1. Oscar Simiyu, 2. Peter Karia, 3. Dennis Karani, 4. Wilson Kopondo (captain), 5. Oliver Mang’eni, 6. Davis Chenge,7. Martin Owilah, 8. Joshua Chisanga
REPLACEMENTS 16. Philip Ikambili, 17. Moses Amusala, 18. Curtis Lilako, 19. George Nyambua, 20. Elkeans Musonye, 21. Sam Onsomu, 22. Nato Simiyu, 23. David Ambunya