Kenya 15s rugby team reaped instant rewards for their outstanding 41-15 lashing of Portugal in a test match last weekend by moving three places up in the latest World Rugby Rankings.
Simbas’ win gave them 1.67 points which saw them move to 29th from 32nd with 54.92 points. Kenya were the second highest climbers from the previous rankings behind Uzbekistan who moved four places up from 86th to 90th.
Kenya 15s dominated the visiting Europeans from the kickoff. Debutant Darwin Mukdiza was the first one to justify his selection to the national team touching down early with Lyle Asiligiwa converting to give the hosts a 7-0 lead at the RFUEA Grounds. Asiligiwa was on hand to make his second conversion after Kelvin Omiyo had given Kenya another try to bring the score to 14-0.
Antonio Ferrador had the home fans silent for a brief moment after he crossed the try line and touched down giving Yannick Ricardo a chance to convert which he dully obliged to make it 14-7. Ricardo was on hand to convert a penalty and reduce the deficit 14-10, leaving the home team in danger of collapsing.
However, that’s as good as it got for the Portuguese who had their player Vasco Uva making his centurion appearance for his side. Mukidza converted a penalty to give Kenya a 17-10 lead at the interval.
Strathmore Leos’ Brian Nyikuli, captaining Simbas, stepped up to the plate and touched down before Mukidza converted for his 10th point in the match to put the scoreboard 24-10 in favor of Kenya. Another debutant, Sammy Oliech, crossed the line, Mukidza converted while fly half Isaac Adimo made a drop goal as Jerome Paarwater’s side stretched their lead to 34-10.
Substitute Robert Aringo ensured he put his name on the scoreboard on his debut match after a nice exchange with Oliech put him through and he crossed over. Mukidza converted for the umpteenth time to make it 41-10 and all but secure Kenya the win despite Tomas Appleton touching down to reduce the deficit to 41-15 before full time.
The win will serve as a confidence boost to Paarwater’s side who have just days to rest before clashing with Zimbabwe in an Africa Rugby Division 1A match on June 13 in Harare, then Tunisia on June 28.
A busy schedule will then see them entertain Spain in another Test match on July 17 before they finish their African assignments with a clash against Namibia on August 8.