NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Pressure is mounting on Kenya coach Paul Murunga
to start chalking up points and pull the national Sevens rugby
team from imminent relegation from the World Series circuit.
Kenya has only amassed four points - one in the opening round in
Dubai and three in Cape Town - last weekend.
This has seen it swap places with Japan to jump to position 14
leaving the Asian giants together with Africa Champions Zimbabwe
facing the axe in the relegation zone.
However, Murunga believes the current team can win some legs in
the World Rugby Series.
“If we are patient enough until mid-season, we should win a leg
then give ourselves proper conditioning for the coming season,”
said Murunga on Monday.
However, the Kenya coach says the focus for him in 2019 will be
to guide the team to qualify for the medals at the 2020 Tokyo
Olympic Games and go on to win the World Cup in 2021.
“In 2021 is where the ultimate challenge lies hence we need to
build depth in terms of numbers,” he said.
Murunga explained that everything will come in place with proper
preparations and motivation to the squad members.
He will also have the service of his senior players, who skipped
the first two legs, when the team returns to action in Hamilton,
New Zealand on January 26-27, 2019.
“There is not cause for alarm. We have our plans and we need to
work steadily to get to the top tier in the standings,” he adds.
Kenya has been pooled in Group C for the third leg of World
Rugby Sevens Series in Hamilton, New Zealand. Kenya will have to
beat African giants South Africa, Scotland and France to sail
through to the Main Cup quarterfinals in New Zealand.
In the first two legs in Dubai and Cape Town, Kenya lost to
Scotland in the United Arab Emirates 35-14 while falling 21-17
to France at the same outing.
In Cape Town, Kenya lost to France 19-12. However, they held on
to win the Shield Cup in South Africa beating Wales.
USA top the team’s standings with 38 points despite losing Cape
Town Sevens final match to Olympic Champions Fiji.
New Zealand are second with 37 points ahead of Fiji (35),
England (30) and South Africa (29).