KENYA national rugby team coach, Ian Snook Ian Snook has cautioned his players against underestimating Zimbabwe ahead of the two team’s crucial Rugby Africa Gold Cup match to be played at the RFUEA Ground in Nairobi on Saturday.
BY DANIEL NHAKANISO
The East Africans enjoyed a winning start to their campaign after claiming a hard-fought 28-24 away win against hosts Morocco in Casablanca on Saturday.
“The players are aware of the task ahead and must be careful not to read a lot from the win in Morocco. It is a good start and we must maintain the momentum,” Snook told the Kenyan media after his team’s return from Morocco on Monday in Nairobi.
“Zimbabwe is a very different opponent so we have to adjust a few things in our team that played against Morocco so as to contain the power and strength in Zimbabwe’s way of play,” the New Zealander said.
Kenya’s rare away win left Zimbabwe, who were held to a 23-all draw against the Moroccans at home on June 16 needing nothing short of a victory to resurrect their chances of qualifying for the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.
The Sables are in third position on the six-team standings on two points, eight behind perennial rivals Namibia, who are in total command at the top of the standings and on course to clinch Africa’s sole automatic ticket to next year’s Rugby World Cup.
The Welwitchias, who began their Gold Cup campaign with a 55-6 victory over Uganda before recording their biggest-ever score in test rugby after beating Tunisia 118-0 in Windhoek on Saturday, top the standings with 10 points while Kenya are six points behind and Morocco third on three points.
Sables coach Peter De Villiers and his men fly to East Africa this morning, knowing that nothing except a convincing bonus point win will be enough to breathe life into their campaign.
Zimbabwe is among the six teams battling it out for the Rugby Africa Gold Cup in which the overall winner in the round robin tournament will secure automatic qualification to the 2019 World Cup in Japan.
The runner-up will have another shot at qualification via the Repechage tournament against teams from other continents.