NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 4 – The national Under-20 rugby team sailed to the final of the 2019 Barthes Cup in style whitewashing Tunisia 73-0 in their semi-final match at the KCB Sports Club in Ruaraka on Thursday afternoon to book a date with Namibia in Sunday’s finale.
Chipu played superbly sinking 11 tries, nine of which were converted as the side picked up their biggest win at the tournament in close to five years. Peter Ogeta was the star man, scoring thrice.
They will now face perennial rivals Namibia in Sunday’s final with the Southern Africans having dismissed Senegal 45-22 in the earlier semi.
Skipper Boniface Ochieng led from the front going over for the first try on the right off a maul after Kenya won possession with a line out a few meters to the try box.
Tunisia tried to find a way back into the match with fly half Aziz Ben Nhila attempting a penalty from distance, but it came short.
Kenya doubled their tally with Ogeta sinking the first of his three when he picked up the ball isolated on the left off another maul emanating from a line out close to the try box.
Dominic Coulson stepped up and booted home the extras for a 12-0 lead within the opening 15 minutes.
Coulson was to be the chief creator of Kenya’s third try of the match making a daunting run through the middle, stepping in and out to evade two tackles before offloading to George Maranga who sprung home to dot down under the posts.
Coulson did the rest from the conversion as Chipu went 19-0 up.
Ogeta then sunk his second try of the evening in superb fashion, his little kick and chase opening up the afterburners leaving the Tunisians gasping for breath as he stretched to dot down under the posts. Coulson once again added the twos to give Paul Odera’s men a 26-0 lead at the break.
With the altitude punishing the Tunisians and strength clearly waning from them, Chipu were not about to let their feet off the gas peddles.
Straight from the restart, Coulson won possession, did his little trick with some beautiful footwork before feeding off winger Geoffrey Okwach who raced down under the posts. Man of the match Jeff Mutoko took over kicking duties and didn’t miss, Chipu going 33-0 up.
Kenya then waded into the 40s in superb fashion, substitute Michelle Brighetti winning the ball deep in Kenya’s 22, kicked upfield and put on some fine pace to chase, beating all the Namibians and landing it under the posts.
Barry Young also stepped off the bench to register his name on the score sheet before Okwach added his brace both of which were converted by Mutoko, Kenya swinging it 54-0.
Backrow Samuel Osongo then dotted down Kenya’s ninth try of the game before Ogeta completed his hattrick and Okwach finished off the day with a 73-0 score.