Kenya Under 20, Chipu, head coach Paul Odera says he’s pleased with how his squad played against Impala in a warm-up match on Monday evening.
Chipu went down 29-27 to Impala but Odera was not concerned with fulltime scores as he prepares to head to Africa Under 20 competition in March.
“I was very surprised how our boys have played. The score was not important today, what was important is to look at players to be able to see who has the mental strength to be able to play against a strong side like Impala. I think we achieved our objectives,” Odera said after the match at Impala.
They play Madagascar in their first match with the winner set to meet Zimbabwe/Namibia in the Southern region final.
“In all honesty, we are looking to get to the semifinal because this is a quarterfinal, if we do lose against Madagascar for how we’ve been progressing over the last few years I think it will be an objective not achieved”
“Not disrespecting Madagascar but where the standards have been put on this team and ourselves I think we are looking at getting to the final.”
Chipu scored four tries, one penalty and two conversions against Impala's four touchdowns, one penalty and three conversions.
“The squad is much stronger than last year because the Kenya Rugby Union has allowed us to prepare earlier, you see we started in July last year and then we’ve built into September and now we are in February”
“We’ve trained together for a bit longer. The second thing we have a lot of players from last year, almost 15 players who are still in the squad so on that balance in the squad it’s stronger.”
On whether they would playing another friendly before jetting out, Odera said:
“It depends if the clubs support us if they give us a game we would love to have a game before we leave just to be able to tighten on some of the areas we’ve seen today. After the playoffs, if we can get another good game like this it will really help us.”