Olago praises Chipu's ‘improvement and progression’ despite Spain defeat

RUGBY Olago praises Chipu's ‘improvement and progression’ despite Spain defeat

Mark Kinyanjui 16:34 - 23.07.2023

The gaffer believes the side has improved tremendously considering they did not take part in friendly matches prior to the start of the tournament.

The national rugby 15's under 20 head coach Curtis Olago says there are numerous positives to pick from the 48-18 defeat to Spain in their Pool B clash of the ongoing World U20 Trophy played at the Nyayo Stadium on Thursday.

Chipu put in a spirited fight in the first half before unbelievably capitulating in the second stanza, which effectively ended their chances of winning the title.

Olago has drawn positives out of the outcome, saying that the boys have done well in their two matches so far considering they did not take part in any warm-up games.

“I will take a lot of positives from our tournament so far,” Olago said. “This side has only played two games, against Samoa and Spain. We never had any build-up matches and for them to pick it up the way they did (against Spain in the first half), but for them to pick it up like that is tremendous,” he added.

"There is so much improvement and progression from the side."

Meanwhile, the tactician, who also doubles up as the KCB 15s head coach has explained the reasons he made six changes to the side that lost to Samoa 34-25 in their opening clash five days earlier.

“We wanted to move the ball a bit more quicker. We were getting into a lot of start-stop situations, so we wanted to move the ball a bit more with the shape in attack and Faran was good at moving the ball quickly.

“When you are put under pressure even the bodies can hold. When you keep making exit mistakes, the bodies will not hold, the opponents will realize and take advantage. We can only learn from these things.”

Olago has asked Kenyans to “keep the faith” in this current crop of players, saying they have a lot of potential and could help the side end the tournament on a high.

“Just keep the faith. We are headed somewhere and walk the path. We are headed in the right direction.”

“Kenya will play Hong Kong China in their final pool B clash next Tuesday. Depending on the position they finish, they will then play the Pool A side that finishes in the same position on 30th July.