Kenya Simbas cage South Africa's Leopards

Kenya Simbas's Samuel Asati compete with Ruben Du Plessis (right) of South Africa's Leopards during Currie Cup first division match at RFUEA grounds. 4 June, 2022. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

Kenya Simbas registered their second win of the Carling Currie Cup first division after defeating South Africa’s North West Leopards 51-35 at RFUEA grounds yesterday.

Darwin Mukidza, Derrick Ashiundu, Vincent Onyala, Thomas Okeyo, Dominic Culson, Beldad Ogeta and Eugene Sifuna went over for the Simbas with Mukidza and Matoka Matoka adding the extras.

Led by captain Dan Sikuta, the Simbas, who had only won one match in their previous six matches played in South Africa were in a class of their own as they scored seven tries for the victory.

Mukidza drilled in two penalties, two conversions and a try to lead the hosts to a 25-14 first half lead with winger Derrick Ashiundu of Kabras Sugar and fly-half Culson also crossing over the white wash.

In the final half, KCB’s Vincent Onyala stretched the scores to 32-14 after landing Simba’s fourth try of the match that Mukidza converted.

The South Africans responded with a try of their own before Beldad Ogeta made it 37-21 with an unconverted try off Mukidza’s assist.

Eugene Sifuna and Thomas Okeyo came off the bench to seal the win with late tries converted by Strathmore Leos’s Matoka Matoka.

Mukidza finished with a game high 17 points as head coach Paul Odera congratulated the team.

Odera was impressed with win but called for improvement defensively.

“This win has given the team massive confidence ahead of next weekend’s game,” said Odera after the match.

The Simbas have now won two of the seven matches played.

Kenya lost their opening three matches against Falcons 51-14 on April 9 before going down 22-21 to Zimbabwe on April 23 and Griffons 66-33 on April 30.

A 35-12 win over Border Bulldogs on May 7 sprung the team to life before being given a reality check in a back to back defeat to Boland Cavaliers (45-33) and SWD Eagles (24-7).

The win against North West Leopards sees Simbas bounce back to winning ways ahead of next weekend’s match against Eastern Province Leopards.

Kenya is preparing for the 2023 Rugby World Cup to be held in France in July but first have a quarter-final qualifier against Uganda.

The winner of the eight-team knockout competition will book a return to France 14 months later as Africa 1 at RWC 2023. The Africa 1 qualifier has been drawn in Group A alongside New Zealand, hosts France, Italy and Uruguay.