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KRU supports Kenya Sevens, Treu

02 April 2014, 12:41

Nairobi - Kenya Rugby Union chair Mwangi Muthee says his union will support head coach Paul Treu and his team until they get the sevens team ticking.

The coaching panel of the Kenya Sevens rugby team is fully aware of the deficiencies of the team in recent matches and has the resolve and ability to correct that soonest, said the Kenya Rugby Union chairman, Muthee.

But he was emphatic that the right time for a comprehensive re-assembly of the team and change of strategy would be during the off-season, which is after the final two rounds of the HSBC Sevens World Series in Scotland and England.

“The technical bench is lucky; has a fallback which is in the existing Kenya youth programme that has players due to take part in the forthcoming Youth Olympics in Beijing, China. We also have plenty of other potential top-class players having excellent exposure in the ongoing Vodacom Cup in South Africa,” the KRU chairman said.

He said time for “radical surgery” in the existing Sevens programme could not be done in mid-stream of the current season.

“We must appreciate that Paul Treu, the High Performance Director and Head Coach took over this outfit, three rounds into the current series.

“He and his assistants are the first to admit, in the aftermath of the last round in Hong Kong,  that the team was not playing well, combinations were not clicking, players were sluggish and that they were not looking hungry. This was the verdict in the post-mortem.

“But I must reiterate we have a fantastic Technical Bench which can pinpoint deficiencies and knows exactly what to do about it. We have to appreciate that. We are confident that they have corrective measures to implement in the two months of intensive preparations prior to the 2014/2015 HSBC Sevens World Series.”

Among the sectors that Treu will be working on is to perfect areas of specialization in the team; that is, for example, set up a pool of specialized props, scrum halves, stand-offs, kickers and throwers.

The biggest handicap this season has been the team being bogged down by the lack of competent players in specialised positions and several were recruited to improvise such as top-class winger Collins Injera playing as scrum half and thrower at line-outs and centre/winger Michael Agevi at times having to play stand-off and take conversion kicks.

The KRU chairman said one of the accomplishments was that all-round, the team was doing well in the grasp of basics.

“More than ever, we are competitive in general play and in defence than prior. At times, like in the crucial game against Wales in Hong Kong, luck dances on the edge of a coin and you lose a match.”

He said the Kenyan national rugby teams were passionately supported by Kenyans across the country and that the following demanded a lot of answers.

“The Wananchi have a right to know and to be heard when they ask questions. But I am sure they will also appreciate that the Technical Bench is aware of this, has discussed this even immediately after Hong Kong, and are committed to moulding winning sides.

“People must also not be blind to the fact that we are in a very competitive world. Teams that looked bad one time, look excellent the next; for instance now USA, Canada, Wales and even Japan, who have now qualified to join the World Series. We are also human beings and not special. We only have to keep working hard and be realistic.”

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