Morans fired up
Kenyans tipped against Nigeria in Africa Sevens opener today at Kasarani
Defending champions Kenya Morans will open their Africa Sevens account against minnows Nigeria in Pool “A” at 12.06pm at the Kasarani Stadium today.
Morans face Senegal in their final pool game against Senegal at 7:14pm under floodlights.
Kenya, who are the overwhelming favourites to retain the title, have had barely two training sessions and it’s something not lost on coach Paul Murunga, who is handling the side.
“The preparations have not gone according to plan but we must show courage and determination and retain the trophy,” added Murunga.
Murunga said Nigeria were an un- known quantity and Senegal are physical side, who will test them in the second match.
“Nigeria are upcoming side while Senegal have been playing in the lower tier tournaments and they will be very competitive,” he added.
Murunga expects his side to be at their best on Saturday during the knockout phase but cited Zimbabwe as their biggest rival alongside Namibia, Madagascar and Uganda.
“The game of Sevens has really grown on the continent and we can’t underestimate any team. Teams have prepared well and we will be ready for the onslaught,” the coach said.
Aluda Beda (Kabras), Lameck Dunde (Impala), Kevin Keegan (Quins) and Strathmore duo of Alex Olaba and Ginton Adongo, are some of the players Murunga will rely on to deliver the trophy on home soil.
Morans skipper Michael Wanjala, who is an experienced Sevens’ player, said the side is relishing the challenge of playing in the tournament.
He said the players are keen to feature for the Shujaa in the upcoming World Sevens Series, starting in December.
Last year’s runners up Zimbabwe open their campaign with tricky tie against Uganda and will wind up against Mauritius.
Kenya beat Zimbabwe 21-17 in last year’s final in Johannesburg to qualify for the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Order of play: 11am: Tunisia vs Namibia; 11:22: Morocco vs Madagascar; 11:44: Zimbabwe vs Madagascar; 12:06pm: Kenya vs Nigeria; 2:30: Botswana vs Namibia; 2:52 Zambia vs Madagascar; 3:14: Mauritius vs Uganda; 3:36: Senegal vs Nigeria; 6:10: Tunisia vs Botswana; 6:32: Morocco vs Zambia; 6:54: Zimbabwe vs Mauritius; 7:16: Kenya vs Senegal.