NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 9 – The Kenya Lionesses began their 2021 women’s Rugby World Cup qualifiers with a statement of intent coming from 5-0 down to thrash Madagascar 35-5 in their opening match in South Africa on Friday.
The Lionesses ran in six tries, one of which converted and added on a penalty as they began their campaign on a positive note.
Celestine Masinde landed a brace with Christabel Lindo, Diana Awino, skipper Philadelphia Olando and Janet Okello dotting down once each with the latter also booting home a penalty.
The islanders started better and broke the deadlock early with a try on the left.
However, the Lionesses responded just three minutes later, a patiently build up move seeing the ball swung to the left and Masinde dotting down the first of her two. The conversion was short with the scores tied at 5-5.
Playing with some renewed vigor, the Lionesses went 10-5 up with Okello cutting through the defense to cross over before skipper Olando ensured Kenya went to the break with a 12-point gap with a try that was converted by Irene Atieno.
The Lionesses kept their hunt in the second half where they were totally dominant and Okello finished off the game in a brilliant way, picking the ball off a line out before gassing down the left and simply swinging the ball to Masinde to dot down under the posts for her second of the afternoon.
Kenya will play its second match against neighbors Uganda on Tuesday and victory will set up a mouth-watering finale with hosts South Africa three days later.