The Kenya U20 team christened “Chipu” got their World U20 Trophy campaign underway Uruguay. Chipu ran out 11-63 losers against their more dominant and experienced opponents.
It took a wasteful Chipu and a more calculative and ruthless Uruguay to come up with the score. Admittedly, this is the first time Chipu are playing a competitive fixture since their Barthes Cup triumph on the 7th of April. Their only other fixture was that friendly against a Prescott/High school select team.
That said, and ignoring the elephant in the room (preparation), I think these are the areas the team could look into as they prepare to play the hosts Brazil.
Our breakdown area needs a lot of work. Our scrums are a pushover, our line outs portray lack of confidence and our rucks, well this is the only area we have averaged above 50 pc. We need to consolidate possession and only these areas allow us to play with ball in hand. Our substitutes tonight especially in the front row were not good enough, they carried on with the moonwalk from where their counterparts left it.
If we can manage to win possession, keep it and let the backs into the play, I think we have a very lethal backline.
Now earlier I watched our opponents square it out and I made only one conclusion, we need to tighten up our belts, it’s going to be a rough ride. I expected Brazil to dominate the Scrums, but it was their leaner opponents that did.
Japan look a more experienced side; having been dropped from the U20 World Cup. They are quicker, sharper and ruthless, attributes I normally give with Championship winners. Remember their senior team’s second line of attack? Yeah, get ready to see it’s ruthlessness a few more times in this tournament.
Brazil are good finishers too, but if you let them play. Deny them the ball, time and ground, they are neutralised.
If it is of any help (I know most people are doubting the team after tonight;your social media comments are telling), but we can beat Brazil, only needs planning.
In conclusion, that was the first game and if the Africa Cup of Nations has taught us anything, it is not to judge a team by their first game. Teams grow into the competition, and Chipu are not an exception. Am sure Odera has something up his sleeve.
Chipu Starting Lineup
1. Andrew Siminyu, 2. Bonface Ochieng, 3. Rotuk Rahedi, 4. Emmanuel Silungi, 5. Frank Aduda, 6. James Mcgreevy, 7. Brian Amaitsa, 8. Sheldon Kahi, 9. Samuel Asati, 10. Michele Brighetti, 11. Andrew Matoka, 12. John Okoth, 13. Dominic Coulson, 14. Geofrey Okwach, 15. Jeff Mutuku.
16. Wilfred Waswa, 17. Ian Njenga, 18. Ian Masheti, 19. Collins Obure, 20. Hibrahim Ayoo, 21. Samuel Were, 22. George Kiryazi, 23. Barry Robinson, 24. Owain Ashley, 25. Timothy Okwamba, 26. Douglas Kahuri
Diclaimer; Not expert opinion