Tokyo — After narrowly shedding the opening match in Pool C on the Tokyo 2020 Olympics right here in Japan, Kenya Sevens head coach Harmless Simiyu says the subsequent sport in opposition to South Africa this night will probably be essential and referred to as on his costs to complete off the sport early.
Harmless Simiyu’s boys went down 14-19 within the opening match on the Tokyo Stadium, in a match performed behind closed doorways as a result of restrictions imposed within the Japanese capital to curb a doable unfold of the coronavirus.
Talking after the defeat to USA, the gamers and coaches say they’ve solely themselves guilty for not killing of the sport with 90 seconds to go once they have been main 14-12.
“We began the sport slowly and that was a problem for us. We gave them two gentle tries however the boys managed to dig in and get again within the sport. We had a key second with 90 seconds to go to shut the sport and we didn’t handle however we’ll decide up within the subsequent sport in opposition to South Africa and I’m certain issues will probably be higher,” head coach Simiyu stated after the match.
Solely 4 gamers within the squad of 12, particularly Collins Injera, captain Andrew Amonde, Willy Ambaka and Billy Odhiambo have been within the final Olympics in Rio. The remainder of the gamers are debutants on the Olympics stage and Simiyu says he was impressed with their enter.
“The younger gamers executed nicely; a few of the calls have been marginal 50/50 calls, we’ll see how we’ll take away these 50/50 calls. It’s a should win in opposition to South Africa however we’ll give it our all. We performed nicely by way of the set items and the way we moved the ball however we have been too direct on the contact. Our focus was on the areas as a result of we created so much,” the coach added.
Skipper Andrew Amonde, who began off the bench alongside seasoned gamers like Jeff Oluoch, Alvin ‘Buffa’ Otieno and Johnstone Olindi, is assured the crew will decide up within the second match.
“We got here near the margins and that’s all about what we anticipated at these Olympics. We have to concentrate on ourselves and compete to win. We had our probabilities however we didn’t take them so we’ll construct from there and go into the subsequent sport with a profitable mentality,” Amonde revealed.
He added, “Our aim is crew work round all of the 12 gamers and get them within the rhythm and that’s how we’re going to win. The younger gamers gave it a great shot; it is just for us to get targeted and preserve our eyes on the sport and end off once we are wanted to.”
Seasoned celebrity Injera, who scored the primary strive for Kenya was disenchanted that they weren’t capable of seize the win, however was upbeat forward of the tie in opposition to continental rivals Blitzbokke.
“It was a tricky one; we knew it was going to be a detailed one. It’s a canine combat Pool, however nonetheless we now have to choose up ourselves, overlook about that sport and concentrate on the subsequent one,” Injera stated.
“For the blokes who made their debuts they carried out nicely. We’re solely 4 of us who’ve been right here earlier than (Olympics) and we’re collaborating nicely. Let’s simply construct on the momentum as we go ahead,” Injera, who as soon as held the all-time high strive scorer tag within the World Sevens Sequence stated.
Talking on their subsequent opponent South Africa, he stated, “It’ll be robust. It is an African derby and we now have to get our heads excessive and go into it and attempt to get the win. Now we have to get into the sport with a excessive tempo and assault. Towards USA, we gave possession simply.”
USA head coach, Mike ‘Otoyo’ Friday, backed Kenya in opposition to South Africa, saying that he has consider that Shujaa alongside his American facet will progress into the quarters.
“We (USA) have gotten a really robust crew in opposition to Eire this afternoon, and Kenya have the chance to go previous South Africa. They’ve their very own woes and considerations to fret about so Shujaa ought to go and end off the sport. Being bodily and correct Goes to be vital if groups wish to progress from this group,” Friday, who developed a few of Kenya’s stars like Injera, Amonde, Billy Odhiambo and Willy Ambaka when he was the top coach, stated.