Furious Kenya Simbas coach lashes out at his players, hints at changes after Victoria Cup loss to Uganda

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RUGBY Furious Kenya Simbas coach lashes out at his players, hints at changes after Victoria Cup loss to Uganda

Joel Omotto 05:30 - 06.11.2023

Kenya Simbas coach Carlos Katywa has blasted his players for ‘not executing anything’ in their narrow loss to Uganda during the Victoria Cup title decider in Kampala on Sunday.

Kenya Simbas assistant coach Carlos Katywa has lashed out at his players for failing to execute their game plan following their narrow 21-20 loss to Uganda in the Victoria Cup title decider on Sunday.

Kenya started well in the closely-contested encounter in Kampala and took a quick 12-0 lead after two tries and a conversion but made countless errors to hand Uganda a route back as the hosts got through two penalties and one converted try to take a 13-12 lead at halftime.

Simbas then forced a penalty after the break but poor tackling handed their rivals opportunities from the spot before they were reduced to 14 men shortly after. 

Uganda took advantage and scored a try for 18-15 in their favour but Simbas touched down what they thought was the winner in the latter stages of the contest.

However, a high tackle from the Kenyans handed Uganda a lifeline via the penalty kick and Liam Walker stepped to coolly slotted it home to give the Cranes the one-point win with what was the last kick of the game.

Katywa, who is also the Simbas forwards coach, was left fuming after the display, saying he felt let down by the players.

“It is a very disappointing end result but at the end of the day, the scoreboard speaks louder than the words I can say,” said a disappointed Katywa.

“Our guys did not pitch up, we did not execute, I do not even want to say a quarter, we did not execute anything. Our plan did not go according to the way we wanted but we will go back, restructure, and back to the drawing board.”

The Kabras Sugar coach, who is one of Jerome Paarwater’s assistants, admitted the Simbas also missed their South African coach whom they cannot wait to have back before the return leg of the Elgon Cup in Kisumu next weekend.

“Like any other place, when your head is not around it has a big impact but I guess at the end of the day, he is coming back, he will have a look at this game as well,” he added.

“But he was with us, calling and chatting to the team but it had a big impact that he was not around because he is the brains behind everything so he would have seen something differently from us. Unfortunately, it is what it is. We didn’t execute, it is not his fault.”

The match, which also served as the opening leg of the Elgon Cup, saw Kenya struggle to play a free-flowing game with Uganda forcing them into mistakes that contributed to five penalties for the hosts.

It is something Katywa is keen to work on and he has even hinted at making changes to the squad that did duty in Uganda after admitting they did not also play well against Zambia in the opening match which they won 36-12.

“We need to restructure and look at personnel as well. It is the second game in a row that we did not play well. We did not play well against Zambia and this is another one so surely there is something that we are not doing right,” said Katywa.

“We need to look into that and look at game reviews and where we can restructure and go to Kisumu and build from there.”

Uganda won the Victoria Cup for the first time at the expense of Kenya who claimed it in its inaugural edition in 2010.

The Simbas will now be hoping that lighting does not strike twice when they host their neighbours next week.

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