CAPE TOWN, South Africa- Kenya Shujaa head coach, Innocent ‘Namcos’ Simiyu believes the national team has potential to better their performance this weekend during the second 2017/18 HSBC Sevens World Series leg in Cape Town.
Shujaa touched down in South Africa on Monday evening from United Arab Emirates where they clinched a credible seventh finish in the season-opening Emirates Dubai 7s on Friday and Saturday.
“We started the season well and the boys put their best foot forward. We are happy so far with the performance and believe we can build on that.
“We need to execute better as we have the potential to close games early. The key focus in Dubai was to get our game going and we achieved this,” the former Shujaa and Kenya 15s Simbas captain told Kenya Rugby in Cape Town on Tuesday.
Simiyu set sights on maintaining the bar they set in Dubai throughout the campaign as they seek to better their 12th-place finish last season in a campaign that will culminate with the Rugby World Cup Sevens in San Francisco, United States.
“Our key focus in Cape Town is to have the boys consistently perform to their full potential and better last year’s cup quarterfinal performance,” the Shujaas boss added ahead of the second leg where they have been drawn to face Series and Dubai champions, South Africa, France and Russia in Pool A.
Three players have joined the squad in Cape Town following injuries in Dubai to Dennis Ombachi (ankle) and Collins Injera (hamstring).
Seasoned Oscar Ouma will be joined by emerging talent in Sam Muregi and Arthur Owira, the latter coming in as a late replacement for Erick Ombasa who had to pull out of the Cape Town 7s.
“Oscar brings leadership, experience and raw power to our game which will be very vital for a good start in Cape Town.
“Muregi adds pace to the team, his understanding of the game and try scoring ability are second to none while Arthur has had a very good sevens season with his club KCB and his work-rate on the pitch will help us a lot at the breakdown,” Simiyu remarked of the fresh blood in his squad.
Shujaa are seventh on the log with 10 points after last weekend’s first leg in Dubai.
They exited that tournament at the cup quarterfinal stage, losing narrowly 14-12 to New Zealand before suffering a 19-12 loss to Australia in the fifth-place semi-final.
They had earlier finished second in Pool with a 29-15 win over Canada, a 48-5 defeat to South Africa and a 29-14 win over Uganda.