NAIROBI, Kenya, June 7 – South African titans Western Province once again proved to be too good for Kenya after they out-muscled the hosts 32-28 in a hard fought test match played at a fully packed Nairobi’s RFUEA Grounds on Saturday.
“The test match was good and the boys tried their best since we were playing a strong side. This was a nice preparation ahead of our CAR Cup and I can confidently say we are good to go.
“Few mistakes caused us and bringing on the 7s players in the second half, I wanted everyone to play, we will continue with our training and by the time we depart we will be in good shape,” national team coach Jerome Paarwater stated after the match.
“We were lucky to win the match and like I said before we were expecting a tough game since Kenya has really improved, they were strong in the scrum and lines outs but I’m happy for the win. I wish them all the best as they seek to qualify for World Cup,” Province head coach John Dobson said.
Despite fielding two different sides in each half, Tusker Simba XV as they are popularly known, could not hold on to their 28-25 advantage during the dying embers of the game as they conceded a late try to the visitors to cede victory.
Paarwater changed his starting line up and preferred to start with one 7s player, Billy Odhiambo while giving other players who were in Vodacom a chance.
Curtis Lilako opened the scoring for Kenya from a penalty kick after three minutes but Ackerman Rusijia touched down for Vermaak Ruan to convert for a 7-3 lead.
Ronnie Mwenesi revived hopes for the host after grounding a try in the 15th with Brian Nyikuli emulating him nine minutes later for Kennedy Andola to convert for 13-7.
Frylinck Dylon cancelled the lead when he sprinted from the right to break through the defence and touch the white wash as Dupreez Robert converted.
Odhiambo scored a try on the stroke of half time as they trailed the visitors 20-14 at the break.
In the last half Paarwater changed virtually all the squad, bringing on a strong team that featured the likes of three siblings Humphrey Kayange, Michael Agevi and Collins Injera as well as French basesd William Ambaka and skipper Andrew Amonde among others.
The squad increased the game pace and it only took two minutes for Kenya’s record try scorer Injera to stamp his authority when he weaved through Province tackles to score under the post for a 21-20 lead
Michael Wanjala could have extended the scores for Kenya when the visitors conceded a penalty but the 7s player blasted wide his kick.
Patrice Agunda stepped in to touch down after poor handle of the ball in the defence to slide under the post for 28-20.
Injera could have notched his brace after sprinting from the left but Province tackles at the back was too strong for him to touch down.
Lack of concentration caused Kenya’s last minute try as Lungelo Chonco easily manoeuvred through to score the winning goal for Gary Van Aswegen to convert as the match ended 32-28.