Rugby Rugby

Simbas up one spot in World Rugby standings

The Kenya Simbas with their runner up trophy after the test match against Germany on May 27, 2017. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 12 – Following the nervous 23-18 win over Uganda in the Elgon Cup on Saturday, the national Rugby 15’s side moved up one place to 25th in the latest World Rugby standings released on Monday afternoon.

The Simbas swap places with Portugal who fell to a 25-21 loss to Brazil in Sao Paulo over the weekend with New Zealand keeping their lead on the rankings while England, Australia, Ireland and South Africa round off the top five.

Kenya had dropped two places down a fortnight ago after their 30-29 test match loss to Germany in Nairobi.

Uganda’s Rugby Cranes, courtesy of the loss against Kenya drop one spot to 44th while Kenya’s Rugby Africa Gold Cup opponents Namibia also dropped one spot to 20th with Zimbabwe remaining static at 36th, and Tunisia 49th.

Kenya will shift their attention to the return leg of the Elgon Cup to be played in a fortnight in Nairobi, with the tie also doubling up as their opening Gold Cup match.

Simbas managed to bounce back from a possible scare against Uganda at the Legends Club in Kampala on Saturday, skipper Darwin Mukidza booting home two penalties towards the end as the boys pulled together for a win.

Mukidza says the team will now shift their attention to putting in some extra work for the return leg and the long journey in the Gold Cup.

“It was a very tough match but it was good we won. We now have to look at the next fixture and look at our errors and improve and also look at our strengths to polish,”

Looking back to the match Mukidza said;

“We had to clear out our errors and be disciplined in our defence. In the second half we tried to keep the ball more and that worked for us. We were anxious in the first half. I thank the fans for the support, we really did this for them and for those who came here we are really grateful.”

Head coach Jerome Paarwater was also impressed with the win, noting they required a tough match in order to prepare them for the season ahead and ultimately, next year’s World Cup qualifiers.