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Rugby

Kenya Simbas roar past Uganda to meet Algeria in World Cup hunt

The Kenya Simbas in France
  • The Simbas thrashed Uganda 42-7 in the Quarter Final
  • They will meet Algeria on Wednesday in the semis
  • Algeria beat Senegal to progress

The Kenya Simbas hunt for their first ever qualification to the Rugby World Cup started on a positive note as they thrashed East African neighbors Uganda 42-7 in their quarter final match in France on Saturday evening.

The Simbas ran in six converted tries through John Okoth who bagged a brace as well as Thomas Okeyo, Teddy Akala, Bethwel Anami and Samuel Asati. Uganda crossed over once in the defeat as Kenya showed class and efficiency.

KCB’s Darwin Mukidza drilled home five of the six converted tries while Fijian born Joine Kubu came off the bench to add the twos for Kenya’s sixth try of the game.

The Simbas started with pace against Uganda and it took them just two minutes to get the first try. Off a penalty, the ball was spread out on the right with Okoth going over the whitewash and Mukidza converting.

Tactical discipline

The Kenya Simbas playing Uganda

The Simbas tactical discipline was evident as they ensured they kept their shape and gave no room for Uganda to run. Okeyo and Asati touched down to extend their lead to 21-00 with Mukidza booting home the twos in both occasions.

The Simbas were marauding and Collins Injera thought he had extended the lead when he greased through tackles to dot down on the left, but the Television Match Official (TMO) cancelled out the try, ruling for a forward pass in the build up.

Bethwel Anami would eventually pounce on a loose ball to score Kenya’s fourth unanswered try in the first half, a good run with pace and power on the right proving too much for the Ugandans. Mukidza once again did the conversion duties for a clean run.

After the break, Kenya resumed where they stopped in the first half. Okoth ran another brilliant line and collected a sharp pass from the breakdown by Asati for his brace. Asati had picked up the ball and with a sleeping Ugandan backline, sighted Okoth’s run feeding him through, the latter slipping through the back like hot knife through butter to land under the posts.

Odera makes changes

Kenya Simbas head coach Paul Odera

Head coach Paul Odera made changes to his starting 15, pulling out the likes of Injera, Malcom Onsando, Dominic Coulson and Asati as he chose to rest them and give others a chance to impress.

Teddy Akala then marked his first cap with a try before the hour mark to put Kenya well out of reach of Uganda at 40-00. Kubu, off the bench for Coulson, converted to make 42-0.

Uganda fought to get something off the game and Jacob Ochieng finally gave them something to smile about with 10 minutes left when he extended his hand over the try line to dot down after Uganda pushed Kenya from a maul.

Former Kabras Sugar man Philip Wokarach sliced the posts to make it a full seven, but that was the most Uganda would get from the Simbas.

Kenya will face off with Algeria on Wednesday.

In other semi-finals, defending champions Namibia who crushed Burkina Faso 71-5 in their quarter final will take on Zimbabwe in what is expected to be a tough duel. The Zimbabweans beat Ivory Coast 38-11.

The winner of the week-long tournament qualifies to the World Cup while the losing finalist will head to an inter-continental repechage tournament later in the year.

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