Kenya Simbas Sammy Oliech tries to tackle a Germany opponent. Photo Courtesy/GermanyRugby

Kenya Simbas tipped to qualify for 2023 World Cup


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Kenya Simbas’ World Cup dream is achievable with the huge pool of talent available in the Country, former Kabras coach Mike Bishop believes.

The Simbas under Paul Odera are hoping to make history in 2023 by qualifying for the tournament scheduled to take place in France.  In the 2018 African qualifiers, the Simbas finished second after falling to Namibia 53-28 in Windhoek.

Failure to shine

Under Ian Snook, the Simbas could not shine in the Repechage which was the final chance.  They finished fourth in the tournament which saw Canada emerge as winners.

With Odera trying to put a squad to conquer Africa and end Namibia’s dominance, former Kabras boss Bishop is confident Kenya has enough talent to win Africa.

”It is definitely achievable for the Simbas to reach the next World Cup. There are so many talented players in Kenya,” Bishop told the Scrummage.

”I have always believed Kenyans are best when they are playing expansive Rugby. Once they are out of their Red Zone, I would have the players looking for support, as the first option in contact, rather than always going to ground,” he advised.

The tactician believes that the coaches should work on the players’ skills to allow them to understand and use their strength. He added that once the players know their roles well and options in every circumstance, the team will be good to go.

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‘Kenyan players are good at making post-contact meters and that is the best opportunity for continuity with offloads. It is just a matter of working on those skills. This would allow them to play to their strengths and away for the strengths of some other teams,” Bishop noted.

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”Work on every player individually so that they know their job and that they know their options in every circumstance. Everyone is accountable. Then it becomes easier for them to understand their responsibilities in a team environment.”

Bishop has also called for the need to have experienced and controlling halfbacks who are able to study opponents well.

”A controlling 9 and 10 is a must in any team. Kenya is no exception. To know when to run, when to look for field position, when to pass, to see weaknesses in the opposition. Those skills only come with experience and playing against experienced teams.”

The Simbas buildup towards the World Cup qualifiers has been disrupted by the COVID-19 meaning it will be the second year in a row without continental rugby.

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