EDITORIAL: Sort out rugby sevens problems

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The Kenyan sevens rugby team returned home to a low-key reception on Tuesday morning after a dismal showing in Australia. This was the team’s worst performance in the 2016/2017 World Sevens Series, as they earned only two points from the fourth leg in Sydney last weekend. Kenya has dropped one place to the 11th position, with 27 points in the Series.

The going has not been smooth for the team, especially after the players went on strike just before the start of the Series in December. In Dubai, the team dropped from the main event to eventually lose in the semi-finals of the Challenge Trophy, getting only five points. It then improved to reach the main event in the Cape Town Sevens, coming sixth with 12 points, but later won the Challenge Trophy in the Wellington Sevens, garnering eight points.

Then came Sydney, where the honeymoon seems to be over for new coach Innocent Simiyu. The team is a pale shadow of the side that won a leg in the Series last season in Singapore. Interestingly, Simiyu is blaming unforced errors, lack of concentration and a blunt attack for the poor performance. The team’s conditioning is also questionable, as it easily lets opponents overturn its leads. But he should not just tell us about problems. He must sort them out. Good results and consistency are needed for the team to regain its groove.

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