Paarwater rings the changes ahead of tough Russian test

Tuesday November 14 2017

Kenya Simbas team manager Wangila Simiyu (second, left), utility back Darwin Mukidza (left), coach Jerome Paarwater (right) with the team’s defence coach Levy Labeeb at RFUEA grounds on November 3 in Nairobi. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO |

Kenya Simbas team manager Wangila Simiyu (second, left), utility back Darwin Mukidza (left), coach Jerome Paarwater (right) with the team’s defence coach Levy Labeeb at RFUEA grounds on November 3 in Nairobi. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO |  NATION MEDIA GROUP

By AYUMBA AYODI
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Kenya Simbas coach Jerome Paarwater has effected eight changes to his side ahead of their second Hong Kong Cup of Nations duel against formidable Russia on Tuesday at the Kings Park Sports Ground in Hong Kong.

The tactician will be seeking redemption after his charges fell to minnows Chile 23-3 in their opening match on Friday last week.

Props Oscar Simiyu and Dennis Karani, scrum-half Lyle Asiligwa, fly-half Biko Adema, centre Peter Kilonzo and full-back Vincent Mose, who came off the bench against Chile will start against the Russians, who impressed in their maiden World Cup appearance in 2011.

The rugged Russians pride themselves in their brute strength and physicality and could prove more than handful to the Kenyans

Also openside flanker Martin Owilah and winger Alex Olaba, who didn’t feature against Chile have the opportunity to show their mettle.

Paarwater has retained hooker Peter Karia, second rows industrius Oliver Mang’eni and big ball carrying Wilson K’Opondo (captain) eighth man Joshua Chisanga, centre Leo Owade elusive running right wing Darwin Mukidza and flanker Davis Chenge.

Russia, who started their Cup of Nations campaign with a narrow 16-13 win over hosts Hong Kong with a last minute penalty taking them to victory, improved two places to 20th in the world rankings after the victory.

Kenya dropped two places to 29th after losing to Chile, who improved one place to 27th.  Hong Kong dropped two places to 24th after the Russian defeat.

Russia beat Hong Kong 31-12 to lift the inaugural Hong Kong Cup of nations in 2015.

The East Europeans won all their three matches.

They beat Hong Kong 27-0, Zimbabwe (19-15) and Papua New Guinea (49-19).

“I have made the shifts so as to give all the players in his tour party of 26 a chance to play,” said Paarwater.

He added that expected a highly physical approach from the Russians.

“They are a different challenge to us because they are physical but the guys are ready for them. It will be a tough game but we hope the outcome can be in our favour,” said Paarwater.