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‘We’re not changing the game plan’-Kenya U20 coach insists ah**d 2nd Barthes Cup match

Tuesday, April 23rd, 2024 17:40 | By
Kenya U20 squad celebrate against former african Champions Namibia. PHOTO/Rugby Africa/ You Tube.
Kenya U20 squad celebrate against former african Champions Namibia. PHOTO/screengrab/ You Tube.

Kenya U20 Head Coach Simon Jawichre affirms they will maintain their game plan as they approach their second match in the Rugby Africa U20 Barthes Trophy against Tunisia on Wednesday, April 24, 2024, in Harare, Zimbabwe.

Jawichre emphasized the importance of leadership in keeping the team motivated and maintaining momentum.

Kenya U20 leaders

“For Tunisia, we rely on our leaders to keep spirits high and ensure we stay on the front foot. Our strategy remains consistent; we aim to refine our execution,” Jawichre told KRU Media.

Kenya U20 players donning Keep Rugby Clean t-shirts. PHOTO/World Rugby.
Kenya U20 players donning Keep Rugby Clean t-shirts. in World Rugby U20 Trophy PHOTO/World Rugby.

Reflecting on their previous match against Namibia, where they secured a hard-fought 34-28 victory after leading 23-6 at halftime, Jawichre acknowledged the challenges faced in preparation.

“The match against Namibia was a tough battle, highlighting areas we need to address in our preparations. Despite the victory, we recognize the need to fine-tune our set pieces and defensive structure,” he added.

In the early stages of the match, both teams traded penalties, with Namibia's Petrus Tromp and Kenya's Patrick Wainaina each successfully converting one, leaving the score tied at 3-3. Kenya's Michael Wamalwa then scored a try, pushing Chipu ahead 8-3.

A fluid passing sequence among Chipu's backs led to Eugene Etale's try, with James Olela converting to extend the lead to 15-3. Namibia responded with Tromp's second penalty, narrowing the deficit to 15-6. Eugene Ojiambo capitalized on a loose ball, increasing Chipu's lead to 20-6, followed by Olela's penalty, ending the first half with Chipu leading 23-6.

Namibia mounted a comeback after halftime, scoring an unconverted try to make it 23-11 before Olela added another penalty, extending Chipu's lead to 26-11. However, Namibia fought back, scoring 12 consecutive points to reduce Chipu's lead to 26-23, before Olela's penalty made it 29-23 in favor of Chipu.

Kenya U20 win

In a tense climax, Namibia narrowed the gap to one point with an unconverted try, making it 29-28, but Chipu sealed the victory with a late try.

The Rugby Africa U20 Barthes Trophy serves as the official men’s U20 championship for Africa. The tournament winner earns the opportunity to represent Africa at the World Rugby U20 Trophy, scheduled from July 2-17 in Scotland.

Kenya U20 players in a past session. PHOTO/KRU/Facebook
Kenya U20 players in a past session in preps for World Rugby U20 Trophy . PHOTO/KRU/Facebook

Featuring four teams including hosts Zimbabwe, defending champions, Kenya, Tunisia, and Namibia, the competition adopts a round-robin format. The team with the highest points tally after three rounds will emerge as the victor.

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