Ayimba: Kenya needs to be clinical against New Zealand

By the punter
Mar 05, 2021
  • Ayimba gave every player a chance on the opening day of USA Sevens. Kenya play New Zealand in the final pool match.

LAS VEGAS, Benjamin Ayimba, coach of the Kenya Sevens team has a plan for New Zealand when the teams meet Sunday in the final pool match of the USA Sevens

"We need to be clinical especially in the ruck areas because this is where they disrupt the game. New Zealand are also good at utilizing mistakes made by other teams, therefore we intend to minimize any mistakes," Ayimba noted

The Kenya technical bench noted the team showed maturity when it was needed most.

In the second match against Portugal, Ayimba was satisfied with the near clinical play. "This is the way we had planned to play and it is gratifying we were able to field all the players on the opening day."

There was no word on Dennis Ombachi who limped off in the match against Portugal.

With two wins, Kenya are assured of reaching the main cup quarter final. They already have 10 points. Injera is fast closing the gap between him and Santiago Gomez Cora, the Argentina coach in the all-time top try scorer's list.

The Mwamba RFC playmaker scored one try against Russia and two in the match against Portugal.

Samoa caused an early upset on the opening day by narrowly beating Fiji 28-24 is a Pacific Islands clash. Fiji played with black bands on their sleeves in remembrance of the devastating cycllone which left many people homeless. Two players Jerry and Pio Tuwai's family were affected.

There were two draws. The first one was between England and Japan which ended 19-19 and a 28-28 score between the USA and Canada.

Kenya 38 Portugal 0 

What New Zealand can do, Kenya can match. The New Zealanders beat Russia 38-0 in their opening match and Kenya posted the same margin with a powerful display against Portugal restricting their opponents in their half for the better part of the 14 minutes.

In this match, Humprey Kayange, one of the most experienced players in the tournament used his long reach to beat Pedro Leal to the line. Biko Adema converted as Kenya led 7-0 with only two minutes played.

Kenya nearly scored the second try after Collins Injera did the spade work but his pass went begging.

The second try came in the fourth minute when Kayange claimed the ball from a line out and Oscar Ouma was the recipient of the final pass. He scored under the posts. Adema added the extras top extend strict the lead 14-0.

Injera scored the third try by exerting pressure on Pedro Leal from the kick off. Adema missed the conversion.

Just before half time, Billy Odhiambo powered his was past the Portugal line and delivered a low pass to Injera who went over. Adema converted for a 26-0 lead at half time.

In the second half, Ayimba pulled out Ouma and Kayange out for Dennis Ombachi and William Ambaka. Kenya did not relent. A good run by Andrew Amonde saw Adema score under the posts and convert.

Ayimba emptied his bench giving a debut to Sam Oliech with Leonard Mugaisi and Auggastine Lugonzo also coming in. Mugaisi scored Kenya's last try. Oliech missed the conversion.

Kenya 24 Russia 21

In this match, Billy Odhiambo scored a try after the hooter to win the game for Kenya who fizzled out in the second half allowing Russia to come back and score three unanswered tries.

Injera scored the first try after a powerful run by Oscar Ouma. Adema converted for a 7-0 lead.

Odhiambe score the second try in the fourth minute and Adema slotted the extras to stretch the lead 14-0.

Kayange scored the third try to sretch the lead 19-0 before Russia replied just before the break through German Davydov opened try for Russia and Dymitriy Perov converted for a 19-7 score at half time for Kenya.

Russia barely stepped in the Kenya half in the opening five minutes before pulling one back just before the half time.

The second half belonged to Russia who won their kick off balls an scored two quick tries. Vladimir Ostrousko scored the first try in this half for Russia and Perov slotted the conversion to narrow the scores 19-14 in Kenya's favor.

Davydov scored his second in the fourth minute and Perov converted for the lead to change hands 21-19 in Russia's favor.

When it appeared Russia were on the verge of a big win, Kenya held up a Russian player and won a scrum with the hooter gone. Injera fed the ball which landed in Odhiambo's hands. He handed off his opposite number to score after the hooter.

Day 1

New Zealand 42 Portugal 7, Kenya 24 Russia 21, South Africa 33 Canada 7, USA 19 Wales 12, Fiji 24 Samoa 28, Argentina 26 France 7, Australia 26 Scotland 0, England 19 Japan 19, New Zealand 38 Russia 0, Kenya 38 Portugal 0, USA 26 Canada 26, South Africa 36 Wales 7, Fiji 42 France 12, Argentina 25 Samoa 12, Australia 35 Japan 5, England v Scotland.

Day 2

Portugal v Russia, New Zealand v Kenya, Samoa v France, Fiji v Argentina, Scotland v Japan, Australia v England, Canada v Wales, South Africa v USA.