Paarwater: We played much better against Hong Kong

By sportsnewsarena correspondent
Nov 20, 2017
  • In Hong Kong, Kenya came up against teams with better organization and structural play. (Photo Courtesy KRU)

  • Although Kenya defended well, they were often outmuscled in the forwards and explosive running by their opponents. (Photo Courtesy KRU)

  • After playing at the Four-Nation tournament in Hong Kong, the national may be inactive for a long time. (Photo Courtesy KRU)

Three nil is Kenya's report card after the completion of the Four-Nation Regal Hotels Cup which ended on Saturday.

However way any rugby pundit may look at it, the roar of the Simbas were muted by teams who were tactically superior. Chile, Russia and Hong Kong had more than intensity, physique or conditioning in their bags.

Whenever they wanted to raise or slow the tempo, it was their call and they were quick to neutralize their opponents whenever they lost possession.

Key to their approach was a disciplined structural play which preyed on the weaker departments of their adversaries.

A quick situational analysis and providing an immediate answer through hard running, support play or tactical kicking paid handsomely especially in the opening two matches.

It was necessary for Kenya to measure up their standards against three teams with varying standards.

But, it may not all be gloom or doom as Kenya prepares for the next assignments because defensively, Kenya absorbed and bravely kept their opponents at bay. They even had the guts to run the ball from deep inside their territory.

Perhaps the big plus is a number of new players who are being blooded into the team which is vital for development.

On the flip side of the continuity is a need to manage the balance of the turnover of the players with a big question on maintaining a notable stability for future assignments. 

This is vital for a transition because, Jerome Paarwater acknowledged the players did what was required of them in the third match against Hong Kong. "With more time together the we can do much better," the coach observed.

Intensity by quality sides

He also admitted the players showed character and carried the ball well. "It was a great tour, a lot of intensity by quality sides."

It may be quite long before Kenya gets another chance to play higher-ranked countries which to gauge their progress.

Some of the players interviewed by SNA agreed. "It is necessary to frequently play against countries which are ranked higher than us to be able to maintain the intensity. In Hong Kong, we came were slow off the starting blocks and did not have a killer instinct," they admitted.

On Saturday,  Kenya lost 30-40 to the hosts at the Hong Kong Football Club. 

Conor Hartley’s third minute try put Hong Kong 5-0 up. Toby Fenn added a converted try four minutes later to see the hosts go 12-0 up.

Roslee then added a penalty for 15-0, summing up a torrid opening quarter of an hour for the Simbas who had to deal with the ealry injury to Peter Karia who was replaced by Philip Ikambili.

A Kenyan foray into the opponents' territory bore fruits, a penalty which Darwin Mukidza slotted for a 15-3 score in Hong Kong's favor.

A second Mukidza penalty brought the score to 15-6 before Lex Kalika’s converted try saw Hong Kong stretch the lead 22-6.

Then from a penalty, Ikambili barged over and Mukidza was sure to narrow the scores to 13-22 in favor of Hong Kong at halftime.

A patient build up after the restar saw Sam Onsomu go over. Mukidza converter to inch closer 20-22.

But a try by Yiu Kam Shing try saw Hong Kong go 27-20 up before Vincent Mose was played in by Leo Owade to score and bring the Simbas to 27-25, two shy of Hong Kong for the second time.

Hartley landed his brace, Roslee converting to see Hong Kong go 34-25 before  Oliver Mang’eni responded with a try straight from the restart to maintain the pressure as Hong Kong led 34-30.

With little left on clock, the hosts slowed the pace by kicking over two penalties for a good cushion of 40-30 at full time.

In this match, Paarwater made six changes to the side which had lost to Russia. Sam Onsomu, Nato Simiyu, George Nyambua and David Ambunya who all came on from the bench started alongside Jacob Ojee and Tony Onyango who were rested on Tuesday.

Eric Kerre shrugged off the effects of a knock in the opening fixture against Chile to start this tie off the bench.

Martin Owilah who was deployed at openside against Russia started at number eight in the absence of Joshua Chisanga with Davis Chenge slotting into the openside flank.

Peter Kilonzo, Joshua Chisanga and Alex Olaba were rested.

KCB edge out Impala

In Nairobi, Kenya Commercial Bank reclaimed the Impala Floodlit by beating the hosts Impala 18-17.

The bankers led 13-0 from a penalty by Esau Otieno in the seventh minute and a converted try by Nick Ongeri in the 10th minute.

Impala replied with a penalty by Quinto Ongo in the 25th minute. He converted a try by Xavier Kipng'etich on the stroke of halftime as KCB lef 13-10.

On resumption, the lead changed hands for the first time when Timothy Makiya scored a try which Ongo converted to lead 17-13.

The kick was Ongo's last action because he was red-carded with KCB's Shaban Ahmed in the 57th minute. 

Otieno scored an unconverted try which saw KCB claim a fourth Impala Floodlit trophy in five years.

Homeboyz finished third by beating Mean Machine 34-22 while Kenya Harlequin FC bagged the Plate by beating Strathmore University 33-29 and Menengai Oilers retained the Universities title by beating Catholic University 25-20. 

Kenya v Hong Kong

15. Tony Onyango, 14. Darwin Mukidza, 13. David Ambunya, 12. Leo Owade, 11. Jacob Ojee, 10. Nato Simiyu, 9. Samson Onsomu, 1. Oscar Simiyu, 2. Peter Karia, 3. Dennis Karani, 4. Wilson Kopondo (captain), 5. Oliver Mang’eni, 6. George Nyambua, 7. Davis Chenge, 8. Martin Owilah.

Replacements: 16. Philip Ikambili, 17. Moses Amusala, 18. Curtis Lilako, 19. Eric Kerre, 20. Elkeans Musonye, 21. Lyle Asiligwa, 22. Biko Adema, 23. Vincent Mose.

Additional reporting: KRU, IMPALA RFC.