All smiles as Kenya breaks winless jinx: Captain Change hails Simbas' fighting spirit, urges teammate to remain focused

By Rodgers Eshitemi: Monday, June 25th 2018 at 00:07 GMT +3 | Rugby
Kenya's Darwin Mukidza goes for a try against Tunisia during their Rugby Africa Gold Cup at Kenya Rugby Football Union Ground, Nairobi on Saturday 08/07/17. Kenya won 100-10 Tunisia.PHOTO:BONIFACE OKENDO

Onyango brace inspires Simbas to a historic win over Morocco.

Kenya Simbas made a winning start to their Africa Gold Cup campaign after coming from behind to stun hosts Morocco 28-24 in Casablanca on Saturday night.

It was Kenya's first win ever in Morocco after losing their last two trips to the North African side (29-3 and 29-11) in the last decade.

New coach Ian Snook also chalked up his second victory in less than a month following Simbas' 34-16 Elgon Cup first leg win over hosts Uganda on May 26.

The Simbas rallied from 17-7 down to beat their hosts in a match that doubled up for the 2019 Rugby World Cup qualifier and moved second on the log with five points, five behind champions and leaders Namibia who demolished Tunisia 118-0 in Windhoek the same day.

Though captain Davis Chenge was pleased with their fighting spirit, he said they still have to improve on their line-outs if they indeed want to reclaim the elusive title they last won in 2013.

Get the latest sports news updates. Subscribe to our SMS sports service by texting 'SPORTS' to 22840.

"It feels good to start the campaign with a win. This season points are crucial, so this is a very important win for us," Simbas captain Davis Change told The Standard Sports on phone.

"The game was hard, we started well though  a number of errors towards the middle allowed them to come back and took the lead at some point but we managed to get back on track and won the game.

"As far as my concerned,  teamwork, intensity and trust in the system won us the match.To win the title there are a number of aspects of our games we still need to work on, especially the lineouts."

Influential KCB winger Darwin Mukidza converted Biko Adema’s try to hand Kenya a 7-0 lead but the hosts responded quickly, scoring two unconverted tries to take a 10-7 lead to the break.

Morocco extended the lead after the break through a converted try (17-7) before Tony Onyango kick-started Kenya's come back with a converted try.

Substitute Moses Amusala would then grab Kenya's third try with Mukidza successfully making his third conversion of the day for the Simbas to go 21-17 up.

Moment later, Samson Onsomu picked up the ball from the maul and set up Onyango for his second try of the game.

Kenya had to play the final five minutes with one man less following Edmund Anya's sin-bin. Despite conceding a third try, the East African outfit held their nerves to break the Morocco jinx.

The Simbas will now face Zimbabwe in their second match on June 30 in Nairobi as Morocco host Namibia in Casablanca the same day.

Related Topics: Morocco Kenya Simbas