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Kenya Simbas bite Morocco in Gold Cup opener

The Kenya Simbas in a past match. Photo/KRU

NAIROBI, Kenya, June 23 – Tony Onyango dotted down twice as the Kenya 15s team overcame a strong Morocco side 28-24 in their opening Africa Gold Cup cum 2019 World Cup qualifier away in Casablanca to give Kenyan rugby enthusiasts something to smile about.

The Simbas took an early lead through Biko Adema’s converted try but Morocco, playing their second match after holding Zimbabwe 23-23 in Harare, responded by grounding two unconverted tries to take a 10-7 lead at the interval.

Kenya turned tables around in the second half with Impala’s Samson Onsomu displaying a man of the match performance in providing the assists that were well utilized.

This is after the hosts had extended the lead seven minutes into the last half through their captain Asim Arabat who picked the ball from the solid Morocco scrum, going on to beat Simba’s Davis Chenge and go over for a 17-7 advantage in favour of the North Africans.

However, Kenya reduced the deficit through two quick tries, with Onyango going into the score sheet first from a converted try before regaining the lead thanks to Moses Omusala who powered through after a great job from the forwards to send Simbas 21-17 ahead.

Winger Onyango completed his brace by grounding on the left corner after Onsomu set him up. And even though Morocco pulled a scare, scoring a try on the death, Simbas were able to hold on and pick the crucial victory to start their campaign on a high.

The win now sees Kenya sit second on the standings behind defending champions Namibia who have won their two opening matches after demolishing Tunisia 118-0 in the other fixture today (Saturday) hosted in Tunis.

The next fixture for Kenya will be on June 30 (this coming Saturday) at the RFUEA Grounds where they will host Zimbabwe.

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