We lost in Cup finale but Japan ticket search is on – Habimana
- Kenya Simbas assistant coach Dominique Habimana has defended his players after their miserable Africa Gold Cup finale outing against eventual winners Namibia in Windhoek
- The 53-28 loss to Namibia means Kenya heads to the Repechage tournament in France where a win will redeem their place in the 2019 World Cup set for Japan
- The players will take a two week break, before reporting back to training, according to Habimana
Kenya Simbas assistant coach Dominique Habimana has defended his players after their miserable Africa Gold Cup finale outing against eventual winners Namibia in Windhoek.
The 53-28 loss to Namibia means Kenya heads to the Repechage tournament in France where a win will redeem their place in the 2019 World Cup set for Japan.
Habimana who has no record of publicly rebuking his players, on Thursday said the buck ultimately stopped with the management and the coaching staff.
“The first thing is we are a unit and the management is responsible for the players’ performances. I’d be very unfair to criticise the players. They gave their very best and performing the game plans and structures that we put in place, certainly from my point of view they’re all out there trying their best and at times, that best was not good enough,”.
The long serving assistant coach said the players had taken their share of responsibility for the performances in the just concluded Africa Gold Cup.
“When you have players like Ambaka, Owilla and captain Davis Chenge who have led from the front all season, I don’t see it as an issue losing in the final. Everyone is hurting but that’s a part of the process of restoring our pride back. The sooner we can do that, the better,” added Sibomana.
The players will take a two week break, before reporting back to training, according to Habimana.
“We’re planning to get them together in two weeks time, and reflect on the Namibia loss. That will be the point of reference as we reorganise ourselves as we strategize for the last chance to qualify for the World Cup.”
Further, the team will travel to South Africa for a high intensity training program and play Currie Cup sides as they look to polish areas of concern.
“Once the government and the stakeholders fund us with the 30 million required for the repechange preparations then our first stop over should be in South Africa to work on our scrummaging and line outs which were our greatest undoing towards during the Gold Cup final loss,” Habimana added.
Habimana also hinted that they are looking at reinforcing the team with a few Kenya sevens players after a stellar performance by sevens star Ambaka.
The repechange test will be even harder with the unpredictable Canada, Germany and the fast rising Hong Kong also fighting for the last ticket to Japan.
The matches will be played in a round-robin format event to be played across three match days on Sunday 11 November, Saturday 17 November and Friday 23 November, 2018.
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