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Wed, Sep

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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.

Steif

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The Kenya15s Rugby team will be out to stamp their authority in the 15s game when they host Portugal at the RFUEA Grounds this Saturday.

With World Rugby Ranking points at stake and a home crowd to please, the Kenya Simbas have every reason to put up a strong performance against the higher-ranked Europeans. Rugby is increasingly becoming Kenya’s most-followed sports, thanks to the disorganization that is currently choking the game that lays claim to the title of being the best; football.

However, it is the 7s version of the game that has most Kenya rugby feel affiliated to, thanks to the annual World Rugby Sevens Series.

Strathmore Leos’ Brian Nyikuli will captain the Simbas as they take one of the many steps they need to get Kenya rugby fans interested in the longer version of the rugby game.

Head Coach Jerome Paarwater released the names of 15 players who will battle against the Europeans, the number having been trimmed down from the 51 who have been training at the Barclays Sports Club ahead of the clash.

Kenya Cup and Enterprise Cup champions KCB Lions got the lion-share of slots in the team with six of its players making it to the final list. They include Darwin Mukidza, Fabian Olando, Jacob Ojee, Oliver Mang’eni, Moses Amusala and Curtis Ilako.

Top Fry Nakuru’s Sammy Warui, Kelvin Omiyo and Michael Okombe also made it to the final squad. Homeboyz duo Emmanuel Mavala and Joshua Chisanga, Kenya Harlequins’ Isaac Adimo and Lyle Asiligwa also made the cut alongside Sammy Oliech of Impala Saracens.

The selected team will kick on with their training on Wednesday at the Barclays Sports Club. The final training session, commonly referred to as the ‘Captain’s Run’ in rugby jargon, will be held at 4.00pmon Friday at the RFUEA Grounds, just a day before the Portugal clash.

Kenya face Portugal who climbed one place up to 23rd in the latest World Rugby Rankings released last week with 57.40 points. Kenya on the other hand remained rooted in position 32 with 53.25 points. The Portuguese’s worst ranking was in 2012 at position 27, their best was 16 in 2012.

 

 

Both sides will use the match to garner some ranking points but Kenya Shimbas will also use it as preparation for the Rugby Afrique tournament where they will face Tunisia, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

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