Simbas storm past Brazil to bag first win of South Africa tour

Kenya Simbas captain Dan Sikuta in action against Carling Champions Team during their Carling Champions match played at Loftus Versfeld Stadium in South Africa on Saturday. [Courtesy]

Fijian Jone Kubu scored 21 points as Kenya Simbas won a bronze medal at the Stellenbosch Challenge after coming from behind twice to beat Brazil 36-30 at Markotter Stadium, South Africa yesterday.

The Kabras Sugar fly-half scored two tries, four conversions and a penalty as Samwel Asati, Vincent Onyala and John Okoth also crossed over the white wash in the win which handed head coach Paul Odera his first victory of the South Africa tour.

Kenya has now beaten the South Americans in their last three meetings. Simbas beat Brazil  27-25 and 18-17 in the test matches played in 2011 and 2016.

Simbas headed into the clash eyeing their first win on the tour having lost their first two matches with huge margins.

Kenya had earlier lost to Namibia 60-24, while Brazil went down 24-22 to Zimbabwe in the semi-finals of the four-nations tournament last Sunday.

Brazil kicked off the match on the front foot after taking an early 6-0 lead through penalties by Lucas Tranquez in the sixth and 12th minutes.

Kubu attempted to immediately drag Kenya back into the match in the 16th minute but it was the South Americans who landed the match’s first try that was converted by Tranquez for a 13-3 lead.

The East Africans fought back and after minutes of possession, Kubu slipped past his markers and scored Kenya's first try of the match on the half hour mark, which he converted to narrow the lead to 13-10.

Moments later, John Okoth gave Kenya the lead with a quick try from the left wing after being released through by Andrew Matoka. Kubu missed the conversion as Kenya led 15-13

Tranquez put the Brazilians back into the lead with a penalty but the one-point lead was short-lived as Kubu set up Vincent Onyala who accelerated and scored at the stroke of halftime to hand Kenya a 22-16 lead after Kubu’s conversion.

In the final half, Brazil started the second half just as they did during kick off by converting a penalty try to regain the lead.

The Simbas responded immediately when Tanga picked Kubu with a pass off a ruck near the try-line for the Fijian-born fly-half to beat his markers and land a fourth try which he converted for a 29-23 lead.

Simbas were however punished for running the ball in their goal area which gifted Brazil another penalty try to go in front again 30-29.

In the end however, Malcolm Onsando and substitute Samuel Asati combined for Kenya to reclaim the lead.