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Kenya Simbas thrash Uganda Cranes to qualify for RWC qualifiers semis

Sunday, July 3rd, 2022 09:44 | By
Kenya Simbas
Kenya Simbas’ backrower Steve Sakari (left) under a trio tackle by Senegalese defenders during their Rugby Africa Cup opener match in July, last year. PHOTO/Alex Njue

Kenya Simbas stormed into the Rugby Africa Cup 15s semi-final with a comfortable 42-7 win over neighbours Uganda Cranes in the quarterfinals staged at Stade Pierre-Delort in Marseille, France.

Kenya Simbas are now only 160 minutes away from qualifying for the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France.

The Paul Odera-coached team began off well, leading 28-0 at the interval. They scored 14 points in the final half to win the match.

Simbas started well and nearly scored via Collins Injera, but he failed to ground Dominic Coulson's kick. With pressure after pressure, the Simbas kept Uganda on the back foot. Menengai Oilers centre John Okoth then scored the opening try following the continuation of play from a ruck. Darwin Mukidza promptly added the extras for a 7-0.

The Simbas were rewarded with an easy try minutes later. Malcolm Onsando pounced on a loose ball and passed it to Thomas Okeyo, who ran 40 meters to score the second try. Mukidza's conversion made it 14-0. The Simbas' two attempts were ruled out by TMO, who cited a forward pass before ruling out Injera's try and a knock-on before cancelling Jacob Ojee's try, which would have been Simbas' fourth try.

The overpowering Simbas ultimately scored their third try through Samuel Asati, who slipped past the Ugandans to score a centre post try. Kenya led 21-0 thanks to Mukidza's precision in conversion. After Bethuel Anami fought his way through to the try-line for the fourth try, which was converted for a 28-0 halftime lead by Mukidza, the Simbas headed to the break on a flawless run.

Okoth scored his second try in the second half after slicing past the Ugandan defence for a centre post try. Mukidza's conversion gave the team a 35-0 advantage. The Simbas' sixth try came from second-half replacement Teddy Akala, and Jone Kubu's conversion made the score 42-7.

The Ugandans got the consolation try from Substitute Jacob Ochen who came off the bench. Philip Wokorach added the extras for a 42-7 as Simbas proceeded to the semis.

The Simbas now shift focus on the semis scheduled for Wednesday. The Simbas will face the winner of the match pitting Senegal and Algeria.

Zimbabwe Sables and Namibia have qualified for the Rugby Africa Cup semi-finals after winning their respective quarter-final matches on Friday, July 1, 2022.

The two African Giantswill square off in the first semi-final on Wednesday, with the winner advancing to the final. The Sables advanced to the final four after defeating Ivory Coast 38-11 in the second quarter-final in Marseille. Namibia proceeded to the semi-finals with a 71-5 victory over Burkina Faso.

The winner of the eight-team knockout competition will represent Africa at the RWC2023, which will be held in France 14 months later.

The team will be in Pool A, which consists of New Zealand, France, Italy, and Uruguay.

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