Kenya under-20 rugby team aim for impressive show in Barthes Cup


Kenya under-20 rugby team aim for impressive show in Barthes Cup
Kenya Simbas fans follow action against Germany during the Tatu City Series test match at the RFUEA Grounds on May 27, 2017. Germany won 30-29. Photo/Stafford Ondego/Sportpicha

In Summary

  • The Kenya under-20 rugby 15s head coach Paul Odera says expectations are high for his team ahead of the Rugby Africa Barthes Cup in Windhoek, Namibia.
  • Odera said that their target is to reach the semifinals of the Cup since there are other teams from the north zone to play to clinch the African title.

The Kenya under-20 rugby 15s head coach Paul Odera says expectations are high for his team ahead of the Rugby Africa Barthes Cup in Windhoek, Namibia.

Speaking to Citizen Digital, Odera said that their target is to reach the semifinals of the Cup since there are other teams from the north zone to play to clinch the African title.

“With the quality of the team we have carried to this tournament, the expectations are high,” he confidently charged.

The junior side nicknamed ‘Chipu’ will play their first match against Madagascar tomorrow (Wednesday) and Odera expects a tricky game.

“…Madagascar plays a very expansive game when they have the ball; they will run in every opportunity to keep the opponent pinned in their territory.”

According to the head coach, they will look to dominate contact areas since Chipu players are much bigger and are in a better physical shape than the opposition.

“If we play on the flanks and the wings a lot we may struggle since Madagascar will be able to cover the field.”

Odera has balanced the team by choosing players who have played for long as well as roping in some new fresh faces.

“Advantage with rugby players is that they are very well conditioned and can be able to withstand hard games and our balanced team reflects that.”

Among the key men Odera will be relying on is Michele Brighetti who plies his trade in the United Kingdom.

Odera is one of the youngest players in the team but boasts of huge experience having played a lot of games.”

Chipu came second in the last edition of the competition which was held in Madagascar, losing the chance to play at the World Junior Trophy in Uruguay to winners Namibia.

The last time Kenya played at the World Junior Trophy was in 2009 when they hosted the tournament. For three years in a row –2015, 2016 and 2017 – they have been runners-up to Namibia.

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Story By Kenerickson Njeru
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