Rugby Rugby

Simbas claw Hong Kong Dragons in World Rugby test match

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Kenya's Nick Barasa sprays out a pass from a rack. PHOTO/RAYMOND MAKHAYA

Kenya’s Nick Barasa sprays out a pass from a rack. PHOTO/RAYMOND MAKHAYA

NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 27 – The Kenya 15s rugby team ended their 2016 season on a high with a 34-10 thumping of visiting Hong Kong in a World Rugby international test match at the RFUEA Grounds on Saturday evening.

The win will definitely see Kenya rise in the World Rugby rankings with Hong Kong being placed 22nd, two places above the Simbas.

“We played really well today and it’s really massive winning at home in front of our fans. They have always supported us and it is a great way to say thank you to them. We were determined from the word go and really gave out a good shift,” captain Brian Nyikuli said after the match.

Darwin Mukidza, as entertaining and hard working as he has always been, began the fest for the Simbas with a penalty early in the match giving the hosts a 3-0 lead.

Hong Kong's Nick Hewson powers away from Kenya's opponents. PHOTO/RAYMOND MAKHAYA

Hong Kong’s Nick Hewson powers away from Kenya’s opponents. PHOTO/RAYMOND MAKHAYA

Kenya stretched the lead to 10-0 courtesy of a try by Joseph Kang’ethe and a conversion by Mukidza after a period of sustained pressure.

Man of the match Tony Owuor touched down Kenya’s second try of the match, being fed with the ball just a few metres off the try line after David Ambunya turned on his turbo on the left running past helpless Hong Kong tackles.

Mukidza converted as Kenya stretched the lead to 17-0, much to the glee and excitement of the sold out RFUEA grounds.

A fan follows proceedings at the RFUEA Ground. PHOTO/RAYMOND MAKHAYA

A fan follows proceedings at the RFUEA Ground. PHOTO/RAYMOND MAKHAYA

Hong Kong looked jaded and were limited coming into the Kenyan half. When they finally did, they earned a penalty in a good converting position but chose for the line out instead, a decision that proved costly with Kenya winning back possession.

Mukidza then added more points to Kenya’s basket with a successfully converted penalty to take Kenya 20 up,  but Hong Kong put in a last gasp penalty at the end of the first half, Matt Roslee converting for a 20-3 half time score.

At the start of the second half, Kenya pulled 27-3 up after Mukidza successfully converted following fly half Nato Simiyu’s try.

Mukidza took on one of his trademark runs on the right, showing his chasers a clean pair of heels before kicking the ball ahead of the last man in Hong Kong’s defense line and Simiyu benefiting with a dive in the try box to make the chase count.

The impressive Mukidza then wound up his afternoon in superb fashion, converting his won try after another daunting run, taking Kenya’s score to 34-3.

With Kenya now lowering the pressure towards the final minutes of the game, Hong Kong landed their first try courtesy of substitute Hugo Stiles with Roslee converting for a full time score of 34-10.

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