In Pictures Kenya rugby XV team beats Brazil

Pictures of Kenya’s cliff hanger 18-17 win over Brazil in the 2016 Cup of the hemispheres.
Images courtesy of Brasil Rugby

A large crowd was in attendance

Hooker Sammy Warui prepares to tackle the Brazil prop

Lock Oliver Mangeni contests a line-out

Kenya’s pack matched their bigger Brazilian opponents

Kenya’s line-out misdirection completely befuddles Brazil


The crowd graciously cheered Kenya after the match

Scrum half Edwin Achayo with a tactical kick from a ruck

Team Kenya celebrates after edging Brazil

Kenya skipper Brian Nyikul talks to reporters after the match

Brazil skipper talking to reporters after the match

Kenya team officials pose with the inter-hemisphere trophy

Kenya pose with the Interhemisphere cup after beating Brazil 18-17


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Ferguson Cheruiyot beats strong field, Rudisha struggles

800m runner Ferguson Cheruiyot is currently in the best form of his life. He won the men’s 800m at the Stockolm Diamond League meet, beating a strong field that included compatriot David Rudisha, Frenchman Pierre Ambrose and Adam Kszczot of Poland

It was Rudisha who took the lead after the first lap, leading until the back straight when he was challenged by Ambrose. Rudisha fought gamely to keep his lead until the final straight when he was passed by three runners.

Cheruiyot  turned on the after-burners in the last 50 metres and outpaced them all to win his second diamond league race. The win leaves Cheruiyot as a candidate for a medal in this event at the Rio Olympics.

Rudisha struggled but then again he always seems to struggle in rainy conditions. His form is OK judging by how he wan the 600m race at Birmingham.

“I am a bit disappointed. I came here to run fast but the weather today was not so great, these are not my conditions. I am really in good form so I am a bit sad I can’t run far in these conditions. I still have one race and I know I am in in 1:43-1:42 shape.” he said

Race Video

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Win over Congo shows importance of quality friendlies

On Sunday June-5-2016, Kenya’s Harambee Stars registered their first win of the 2017 Africa Nations cup when they beat Congo 2-1. But Harambee Stars were not just victorious, they played much better than they have played of late, and were the better side against a side that is ranked more than 60 places above them in the FIFA ranking.

Prior to the match, Harambee Stars played two build up matches against Tanzania and Sudan. Though Kenya’s performance was unimpressive. coach Stan Okumbi was not worried. He stated that the friendlies gave him an opportunity to gauge the current form of the players and determine which player combinations work.

“I think the two build-ups played a big role in the result. We came from a goal down in both friendlies against Tanzania and Sudan. That showed the players have a strong character and fighting spirit,” said Okumbi in Sunday’s post match press conference.” said coach Okumbi to the Standard

Indeed the importance of friendlies matches for national teams cannot be gainsaid. These players never get opportunities to play together as clubs do. They only assemble about a week prior to the match. This makes it difficult for a coach to gauge player’s form, work on combinations or build cohesion.

Players need to play several matches together so that they can gain an understanding, gain a measure of cohesion and anticipate each others moves.

In recent years, Kenya has not played any quality friendlies ahead of key matches. Such was the case against Cape Verde, Zambia and Guinea Bissau all of whom Kenya lost to.

“It could have happened in the two leg match against Guinea Bissau, but I didn’t have enough time to train with the players. It was my first time as the national team coach. I think in future, we need to get as many friendlies as possible so that we can build that confidence in the players.” continued Okumbi

And during the nightmare Nyamweya era, Kenya never played any quality friendlies. The only time they played any friendly at all was when there was an opportunity for Nyamweya to make money via agent fees that are paid by agents who organize high profile friendlies.

Indeed in 2014, both Victor Wanyama and Dennis Oliech were vocal in asking for friendlies, both saying it would have been better for the government to help organize friendlies instead of sending the team on holiday to watch the world cup. So Kenya went to Brazil instead of staying at home to prepare. The net result was that they were eliminated by Lesotho from the 2015 Africa Nations cup qualifiers.

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