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Simbas look for redemption in second test against Brazil

The Kenya Simbas team in South Africa

After suffering a 60-24 loss against Namibia in their first match of the Stellenbosch Challenge last weekend, the Kenya Simbas will be looking for redemption when they take on Brazil in their second match on Saturday.

The Simbas had led at halftime against the Namibians after a well worked opening 40 minutes, but they couldn’t hold their own in the second period, seeing Namibia score 41 unanswered points and lose the tie.

Head coach Paul Odera is confident they have learnt their lessons from the first match and will be looking to implement some changes and improvement against the Brazilians who they hope to beat for their first victory in the tour of South Africa.

“Against Namibia, it was a game of two halves. We were brilliant in the first half both in attack and defense. We did well in our set pieces and I think it was the first time in a very long while that we were holding our own against Namibia in the scrum,” Odera told Sportsleo.

Kenya SImbas in action against Namibia

However, we collapsed in the second half, The difference is that we allowed them to have a very easy try right at the end of the first half and that put them in the game. In the second half we conceded four tries in the space of 15 minutes and that put us out,” the coach added.

On what he needs to improve heading into the Brazil game on Saturday, the coach said;

“We need to be better on our kick reception and we need to have the ball more. Namibia really starved us of the ball and that was where they beat us from.”

The Simbas face Brazil for the first time in four years. The last time the two sides clashed was in 2016 when the Kenyan bots beat the South Americans 18-17 in Cassablanca.

Ahead of the game on Saturday, coach Odera has made some changes with Elkeans Musonye, Joseph Odero and Isaac Njoroge all included in the match day 23 after missing the game against Namibia.

Other changes in the starting line up see Brian Tanga move from the left wing to the scrum half, Ephraim Oduor starts at tight-head after coming off the bench in last week’s clash against Namibia while Andrew Matoka starts at the left wing.

Kenya Simbas in training

“The reason for starting Tanga at scrumhalf is because we’re trying to see if his understanding with flyhalf Jone Kubu can be transferred to the National level. Matoka moving to the wing is good for us because he’s exceptionally quick and has a huge boot so hopefully he can put in into good positions on the pitch,” said Odera on the starting line up changes.

He added; “Odero is going to bring a lot of experience and power from the bench. It will be excellent for the Simbas to get a win tomorrow against Brazil but over and above that, the management team is looking forward to the players leaving the pitch feeling very proud of themselves.”

Simbas Line up against Brazil

  1. Darwin Mukidza, 14. Jacob Ojee, 13. Vincent Onyala, 12. John Okoth, 11. Andrew Matoka, 10. Jone Kubu, 9. Brian Tanga, 1. Ian Njenga 2. Eugene Wesonga 3. Ephraim Bwire 4. Malcolm Onsando 5. Thomas Okeyo 6. George Nyambua 7. Daniel Sikuta (Captain) 8. Joshua Chisanga

REPLACEMENTS: 16. Bonface Ochieng 17. Joseph Odero 18. Patrick Ouko 19. Brian Juma 20. Elkeans Musonye 21. Samuel Asati 22. Peter Kilonzo 23. Isaac Njoroge

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