Kenya national women’s rugby team head coach Felix Oloo says his players must focus on the upcoming World Cup qualification matches in South Africa, despite having dominated neighbors Uganda in the regional Elgon Cup.
Oloo says there are more challenging tasks ahead, and believes his side will show well against Uganda, Madagascar and hosts South Africa to book their place at the Women’s World Cup in New Zealand in 2021.
“What [the Elgon Cup] showed us was that Uganda have heavy forwards and they will be out to display their defensive play again when we meet. However, we are well prepared for this encounter,” said Oloo on Monday in Nairobi.
The coach, however, warned against complacency from his squad and told them not to celebrate their win over Uganda in the Elgon Cup.
Kenya beat their neigbours 35-5 to win the 2019 Elgon Cup 79-19 on aggregate, after winning the first leg 44-14 in June in Nairobi.
“Our focus must always be on the Africa Women’s tournament in South Africa in August. We have four teams and that tournament will double up as the 2021 Women’s World Cup qualifiers,” said Oloo.
Kenya will play Madagascar on August 9 before taking on Uganda four days later and facing South Africa on August 17.
The winner of the tournament will qualify directly for the 2021 World Cup in New Zealand, while the runners-up will qualify for a repechage tournament via a play-off against a side from South America.
“The easiest route to the World Cup is to win here in Africa. Going through the repechage is a taxing and hard road. It is better we hold our ground and clear this qualification hurdle at the continental level and build on it towards the global championship,” Oloo added.