Paarwater worried about Kenya's defense

By francis marangu
Jul 13, 2017
  • Curtis Lilako takes on Tunisia last weekend. Jerome Paarwater, the Kenya head coach has admitted there are some flaws in the defense as they prepare for Senegal. (Photo by Shutterspeed)

Jerome Paarwater, the Kenya Simbas head coach says they will be going for a positive result against Senegal to build up on their huge win against Tunisia in the Rugby Africa Gold Cup match at the RFUEA ground on Saturday.

He notes that it will be the best way to build up for their two away fixtures against Zimbabwe and Namibia.

But, Paarwater admits it will be difficult to get a big score line against Senegal who are ranked fifth in Africa, two places higher than Tunisia.

They lost 16-28 at home to Zimbabwe in their opening match played on June 24.

“It is good that we have history and the win against Tunisia is something in the past. Our focus now is on Senegal. I watched their game against Namibia and they are different from Tunisia so we expect a very tough game,” he observed. “They look fitter and have very fast players at the back.”

There will be only one change in the team with Simon Muniafu replacing George Nyambua at second row. Muniafu returns after serving a two-week suspension because of a concussion while Oliver Mang'eni has job committments.

Paarwater is glad to have Muniafu back. "He had a great game against Uganda." Nyambua also had a great game against Tunisia. 

Homeboyz backrow Steve Otieno is the main omission from the matchday 23-man squad unveiled on Thursday.

Going to the match, Kenya’s biggest concern remains to be the defense. Paarwater regretted that his team soaked in seven tries in the last three matches; five against Uganda and two against Tunisia.

Defense worries

He spent the entire week with the team and their defensive line has been his main concern.

“For us, it will be about doing right what we have to do right mostly on defense and our kickoffs. We were weak on that against Tunisia but it is a not a very big concern for now.”

Joshua Chisanga will start at backrow and is prepared for a physical encounter.

“Judging from the way we saw them play against Namibia, we expect Senegal to come physical on us.”

Kenya Simbas will be looking to put to sword a wounded Senegalese fifteens rugby team on Saturday.

The match to kick off at 2 p.m. will bring together teams that were on contrasting ends last weekend. Kenya beat Tunisia 100-10 while Senegal lost 0-95 to Namibia.

Kenya is second on the log with seven points while Senegal are bottom with one point from a bonus loss to Uganda.

Namibia who tackle Zimbabwe at home are unbeaten after two games with 10 points. Uganda who are on six points host Tunisia in Kampala and they will be following keenly the game in Nairobi.

Kenya Simbas

15. Tony Onyango, 14. Darwin Mukidza, 13. David Ambunya, 12. Leo Seje, 11. Jacob Ojee, 10. Isaac Adimo, 9. Samson Onsomu, 1. Moses Amusala, 2. Peter Karia, 3. Dennis Karani, 4. Wilson Kopondo (captain), 5. Simon Muniafu, 6. Eric Kereh, 7. Davis Chenge, 8. Joshua Chisanga; Replacements - 16. Philip Ikambili, 17.Oscar Simiyu, 18. Curtis Lilako, 19. George Nyambua, 20. Martin Owila, 21. Lyle Asiligwa, 22. Kenny Andola, 23. Dennis Muhanji.

Management: Jerome Paarwater (Head Coach), Dominique Habimana (Forwards Coach), Charles Ngovi (Backs Coach), Richard Ochieng (S&C Coach), Chris Makachia (Physiotherapist), Simiyu Wangila (Team Manager)