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Lionesses thrash Uganda, closer to World Cup

Action between Kenya and Uganda during their 2021 Rugby World Cup qualifier in South Africa on August 13, 2019. PHOTO/Rugby Afrique

NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 13 – The national women’s rugby team stepped up their bid to qualify for the 2021 World Cup after winning their second consecutive qualification match with a 37-5 thrashing of Uganda on Tuesday afternoon.

Grace Adhiambo was Kenya’s best performer of the afternoon picking 15 points after landing a brace of tries, booting home one penalty and converting one try. Janet ‘Shebesh’ Okello also landed a brace of tries as Kenya ran in six tries to convincingly win the match.

It was a cagy and scrappy opening 40 minutes of the tie as the two teams went to the break with Kenya leading 3-0 courtesy of Adhiambo’s penalty.

The Kenya Lionesses improved in the second half, playing more fluid rugby and using their speed to open up the Ugandan backline.

Okello opened her account with a brilliant try just after the second half had started, Naomi Amuguni doing all the hard work to break from deep in Kenya’s 22 before she offloaded for Okello to fly away on the left and touch down, Kenya going 8-0 up.

Adhiambo, easily player of the match in the tie then created Okello’s second of the afternoon when she picked the ball off a maul, drifted away on the right to take away some runners and offloaded for Okello to run under the posts. The conversion was good, Kenya going 15-0 up.

Uganda had a chance to draw some points back when they won a penalty inside Kenya’s 22 and elected to go for the kick, but the effort was awry,

The Lionesses took the cue and sunk in their third try of the game, Okello playing selflessly to Stacy Atieno to dot down when she ran through under the posts and could have easily touched down for her hattrick.

Uganda had another penalty attempt sail wide before they earned a consolation try.

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But that could not stop Kenya as they went on to command the game, Adhiambo’s try taking the Lionesses 25-5 up. She completed her brace minutes later, withstanding a late tackle from a Ugandan runner to ground her second of the afternoon and Kenya’s fifth.

The returning Sheila Chajira then put the icing on the cake with the sixth of the afternoon, skipper Philadelphia Olando dragging some markers along before playing Chajira through with Janet Owino slicing the posts for the conversion.

Kenya will face hosts South Africa in the deciding match on Saturday and victory in this tie will assure them of a place in the World Cup.

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