Kenya Simbas turn their claws on Germany

first_img“We are playing at home and the levels of pressure are intense, but then no one wants to lose whether home or away. We know Germany will come hard on us but this is it for us, it sets the tone for our season,” skipper K’Opondo said.He added; “We are looking to make sure everything we are trying to set up going forward comes into play from this weekend and infront of our home fans, it is more than important to win.”Head coach Jerome Paarwater has named a squad blended with youth and experience for the Germany tie and team manager Simiyu has affirmed they are ready to do their best especially having come through from a 10-day camp in South Africa.“Apart from giving us a good leap into the season, we are also looking at the rankings. Winning will be key in earning us more points. The players are really up to the task because we have done a lot of work over the past one month since we started training,” Simiyu noted.The team had a training camp courtesy of Super Rugby side Western Province where they put up and trained in their facilities in Cape Town as well as playing training matches.“It was a good experience because if you want to play against the best, you have to train with the best. The boys got very good exposure in those 10 days where we focused on fine tuning a few technical areas which we though needed polishing.”“We also worked on preparing the boys to perform at a high level both physically and mentally. To perform well, you not only need to be very fit physically but mentally as well,” the Team manager added.-Cautious approach-Kenya Simbas Forwards head coach Dominique Habimana (left) and Team Manager Wangila Simiyu (right) when naming the team.PHOTO/Raymond Makhaya.Germany are placed 25th in the World Rugby Standings, just a spot below Kenya and both K’Opondo and Simiyu admit they will not take them lightly.“We approach them with a lot of caution because we respect them a lot since they have done well in the European circuit and are not a team to be taken for granted,” Simiyu noted.Skipper K’Opondo who returns to the team after two years added;“We have looked at what they have to offer; they are smart technically and quick on their feet. We have to be upfront with them and ensure we are defensively sound. They are a very technical team as well and we will try to disrupt their rhythm. We will also try to run them a lot and see if they can keep up with this altitude of ours,” the skipper opined.After the Germany clash, Kenya shifts attention to the Elgon Cup against Uganda with the first leg set for June 10 in Kampala. The return tie which will be played 14 days later in Nairobi will also double up as a Rugby Africa gold cup match.Simbas will then play Tunisia and Senegal at home on July 8 and 15 then travel to play Zimbabwe and Namibia on 22 and 29 July in the final two matches in the African Gold Cup. Shujaa will also have two test matches against Hong Kong in August before shifting attention to the World Cup qualifiers.“That is our ultimate goal and the matches we are playing will give us a chance to look at the deficiencies, try out a few new people and unplug any shortfalls we might have on the way. We really have to work hard from here onward,” K’Opondo added.Team manager SImiyu has also called on more sponsors to come on board to ensure the team plays more test matches as well as improve the training facilities to ensure the team achieves the dream of playing in the World Cup, one they missed by inches in 2014.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000The Simbas will take on their German Counterparts at the RFUEA grounds in their first competitive match this season. PHOTO/FileNAIROBI, Kenya, May 26 – Winning Saturday’s World Rugby test match against Germany will be a big motivation for the Kenya 15s team as they prepare for the new season, skipper Wilson K’Opondo and Team manager Wangila Simiyu have said.The Simbas will take on their German Counterparts at the RFUEA grounds in their first competitive match this season.last_img read more

Europa League not to blame for defeat, says Pochettino

first_imgMauricio Pochettino refused to blame Tottenham’s 2-1 home defeat to Newcastle on the Europa League.The manager made six changes to the side that beat Monaco 4-1 on Thursday night, but the Magpies ended Spurs’ 14-match unbeaten run in the Premier League thanks to a late goal from Ayoze Perez.“It’s not about tiredness or playing on Thursday,” Pochettino said.“We had good energy, but started to make mistakes and lost control in the last 15 or 20 minutes.”Tottenham went ahead through Eric Dier’s first-half goal but failed to put the game beyond doubt.“The first half was a fantastic performance and one of the best so far I think,” the boss added.“It was under control and the way we played was fantastic.“In football you need to create chances and score and [Newcastle] created chances and scored.”Nevertheless, Pochettino pointed out his team were still only three points behind fourth placed Man United, adding his young team would continue to improve.last_img read more

Frank Girardot: Tragedy reveals meaning to adage

first_imgI remember when I was in my 20s someone said to me, “There, but for the grace of God, go I.” At the time, it didn’t really resonate. From time to time over the years, I would think about the strange configuration of the words and never the meaning of the sentence as a whole. The adage stuck in my head Saturday morning sometime around 2 a.m. as I was thinking about Stephen Groce, 44, an El Monte man who in an instant last Monday evening lost his entire family. Groce’s wife Dora, 41, and their two children, Robert, 8, and Catherine, 4, were driving to a doctor’s office, when their Nissan Maxima was broadsided by a car involved in a street race on Parkway Drive. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.A preliminary coroner’s report indicates that Dora died instantly in the collision. The children probably burned to death. I doubt Stephen knew those hideous details last week when he spoke to our reporter Fred Ortega and later appeared on KFI’s John and Ken Show. He told the talk show hosts that evening he was on his way home, passed the accident scene and didn’t even recognize his car. At some point, Groce was drawn to the intersection when a neighbor told him she thought his family might be involved. He walked over and spoke to a cop. “I asked him about my two kids. I mean I saw the yellow blanket over there covering my wife and I guess part of you doesn’t want to see that that. It really couldn’t be true,” Groce recalled. “And that’s when he told me they were all three deceased.” At the scene of the accident, police arrested Robert Canizalez, 19, of El Monte. He has been charged with three counts of murder and is being held in lieu of $3 million bail. A second man believed to have been involved in the race, Martin Morones, 21, of El Monte remained at large late Saturday. In the interest of full disclosure, I should report here that I have two sons who are roughly the ages of the Groce children. Reporters are supposed to approach stories like these without personalizing them. We are trained to be objective and reminded constantly to keep our feelings in check. As hard as I might try to be immune to the suffering of others, I have to admit that horrible stories like Stephen Groce’s tragedy strike a chord in me, perhaps for obvious reasons. In his conversation with KFI, Groce recalled how he would come home at night, sit down and help Robert, who attended Maxon Elementary School, with homework. Little Catherine, not old enough to attend school yet, would sit nearby and pretend she was doing homework too, Groce said. I remembered my own little guys doing the same thing. While Tom would struggle with writing or math problems, Matt would draw elaborate scribbles and ask if his homework looked good. Late in the KFI interview with Groce, Ken asked Stephen: “Are you going to be able to face these guys that did this?” His answer was simple and direct. “I don’t have a problem with standing and looking at them face-to-face. I want them to see what they did,” Groce said. “They destroyed my life. My wife and my kids were my life, that’s all I had. That’s all I wanted.” His voice wavering, Groce summed up his feelings at the end of the interview. “We had a great life,” he continued. “I mean we had two excellent, great, beautiful children and I will miss them so much.” And, there, but for the grace of God, go I. [email protected] (626) 962-8811 Ext. 2717 local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more