Rugby Rugby

Kenya Simbas maul Zimbabwe in Bulawayo

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Kenya Simbas in their match against hosts Zimbabwe away in Bulawayo.Photo/COURTESY

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 22 – The national 15s team continued their unbeaten run in the 2017 Africa Rugby Gold Cup after registering a resounding 41-22 victory over hosts Zimbabwe in a match played at the Hartsfield Rugby Ground in Bulawayo on Saturday.

The win means Kenya are one step away from reclaiming the continental title they last won in 2013 and that will be achieved if they pick a win over defending champions Namibia on July 27 in Windhoek.

Namibia thrashed Uganda 48-24 in the other match to set up a mouthwatering clash against Kenya where the East African giants will be looking to get one over the South Africans.

Namibia are leading the standings on 20 points ahead of second placed Kenya who have 18 points.

It will also put the Kenya Simbas in a perfect place to qualify for the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

Wilson Kopondo with Zimbabwe captain.Photo/COURTESY

In a relatively balanced first half, assistant captain Darwin Mukidza booted Kenya ahead with a penalty before nippy Hilton Mudariki, attacking from the base, prized open the Simbas defense to touch down with Tich Makwanya converting for a 7-3 Sables lead.

The hosts were enjoying territory and possession, the Simbas reduced to a purr, and largely backpedallingbefore inching forward, Peter Karia’s offload setting up Sam Onsomu for the try under the sticks, Mukidza converting for a 10-7 score.

Zimbabwe, ever dangerours with ball in hand retook the lead when Takudzwa Kumadiro went over at the right hand corner for his sixth try of the championship as the hosts now led 12-10.

Zimbabwe having a line-out against Kenya Simbas.Photo/COURTESY

The Simbas started to see more of the ball, first electing to find touch after Zimbabwe had been penalized.

They kept possession from the ensuing line-out and rolling maul with Davis Chenge going over with Mukidza’s conversion giving the Kenyans a 17-12 lead at the break.

Despite trying to comeback in the second half, the Sables could not match the Simbas who responded with a Martin Owila try after Zimbabwe had reduced the deficit to mere two points.

Assistant captain Darwain Mukidza sealed the win with a late penalty just minutes after captain Wilson Kopondo touched down a converted try.

-By Kenya Rugby Union Official Website

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