By Steve Ayoo (@Steifmaster88)
Kenya Simbas’ hopes of making it to their maiden Rugby World Cup appearance were thrown to the longer repechage route after they fell to a heavy 53-28 defeat against Namibia who won the Rugby Africa Gold Cup title for a record eighth time, and qualified for the 2019 world cup in the process.
The Simbas needed victory at the Hage Geingob Stadium in Windhoek to secure a world cup slot but were put to the sword by the often ruthless hosts. Namibia put the first points on the board from a penalty but were then stunned by their visitors who chalked over through Willy Ambaka. Darwin Mukidza converted to give Kenya a 7-3 lead but two converted tries gave the hosts a 22-7 lead at the interval.
Ambaka grabbed his second try in the match and Malcolm Mamboleo Onsando landed his maiden test try before Mohammed Omollo also crossed over as the Simbas gave it a good go.
However, there was no stopping the visitors who just kept pulling away, eventually collecting a bonus point victory over the East Africans.
The result sees Namibia not only successfully defended the Gold Cup title but qualify for the rugby world cup for a sixth consecutive time. They will face fellow Africans South Africa, New Zealand, Italy and the repechage winner in Group B.
Simbas meanwhile will head to the repechage in Marseille, France where they will compete for one final spot against Hong Kong, Germany and Canada. Should Ian Snook’s men progress, they will have a chance to exact revenge on Namibia in the Japan showpiece.
Meanwhile Zimbabwe avoided relegation to the Rugby Africa Silver Cup by stunning hosts Uganda 38-18.