Expect A Close Game On Saturday, Kinyany

Jun 09, 2011

Edward Kinyany, Kenya’s assistant coach has said the next match against visiting South African Provincial side Mpumalanga could be very close if they play according to plan.

Kenya Select XV were sucked into Mpumalanga’s game which made it easier for the opponents to dictate the pace. 

Assistant coach Edward Kinyany admitted Kenya Select XV gave Mpumalanga so much respect in the first half and identified lack of cohesion and poor defence. He explained these were as a result of experimenting with new combinations which have not gelled. “On Saturday, we will place a lot more emphasis on defence and especially contesting rucks,” Kinyany said.

Come Saturday, there will be a few changes on the Kenya side especially because of injuries sustained during the Bamburi Rugby Super Series final. “We have quite a few in mind but we will only know by the end of today’s(Thursday) session. There were a lot of injuries last weekend during BRSS and we want to wait till the last possible minute to choose,” Kinyany explained.

Although the former Kenya backrow admits that Mpumalanga are so structured, he remains optimistic the South Africans are vulnerable and can be taken upfront and more so in the backs where Kenya scored all their tries from. “They are very structured in all they do, but can be taken on upfront and more so in the backs.” On Wednesday, Mpumlanga scored through set moves and capitalized on Kenya’s mistakes in defence “especially in our half which gave them easy platform to play from.

Some of the players who impressed and could be fielded on Saturday are Dennis Muhanji - who scored two tries - Allan Omuka (one try), Curtis Lilakho, Dennis Mwanja and Kevin Umbuge. “We should have a very close game come Saturday,” Kinyany promised. 

Mpumalanga are too structured and organized. Their set pieces are a marvel to watch and the scrums, line outs and restarts are textbook stuff which are a result of playing together for a long time and graduating through the various levels. Their passing is accurate and their moves are planned and executed with precision.

These are some of the qualities that the Kenya team will come up against when they face the South African provincial outfit on Saturday at the Rugby Football Union of East Africa ground. There was a sneak preview on Wednesday when Mpumalanga played a Kenya Select side. 

They would beat Kenya’s defence on first phase by going physical and cleverly exploiting the gaps through support play because they anticipated each other’s moves. By the third phase, they already had their opponents on the back pedal and kept the ball alive. With this knowledge, it will be interesting to see what approach Kenya would use on Saturday.



Eric Odanga

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