Ambaka stars as brave Simbas thrash Tunisia: Kenya inch closer to 2019 Japan World Cup with win over North Africans

By Rodgers Eshitemi: Saturday, August 11th 2018 at 18:08 GMT +3 | Rugby
Kenya's William Ambaka (right) tacle Sahbi Dhif of Tunisia at RFU grounds on Saturday Aug 11, 2018. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

William Ambaka scored a brace of tries on his test debut as Kenya Simbas mauled Tunisia 67-0 in Saturday’s Rugby Africa Gold Cup cum 2019 Rugby World Cup qualifiers fixture at the RFUEA Grounds.

Their victory in presence of former Prime Minister Raila Odinga and Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja kept the unbeaten Simbas' World Cup qualification hopes alive after victories over Zimbabwe, Morocco and Uganda.

Though Ambaka, the Kenya Sevens winger, was impressed with his performance, he gave credit to his teammates for making the work easier for him.

“This what you always get results when you put in hard work. I am happy with the score and the hard work the boys put in. It was a happy moment for me,” a visibly jubilant Ambaka told Standard Sports.

“It is a great feeling because a scored twice and we got away with the win. Tunisia is definitely a good side, and I am happy I got over the line. However, credit to the boys for putting in the hard work; I just finished off the tries.”

Commenting on Ambaka’s debut display, head coach Ian Snook said: “I am pleased with his performance. He is getting better and better. Coming from Sevens to put in such a show is not easy, but we still expect more from him.”

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Having taken their points tally to 17, Snook's men face favourites and leaders Namibia in next weekend’s decisive final match in Windhoek, Namibia.

The winner of the eagerly awaited Windhoek clash will automatically qualify for the World Cup finals in Japan with the losers going to Marseille in France for the repecharge tournament.

Captain Davies Chenge, man of the match Martin Owillah, Andrew Chogo, Jacob Ojee, Elkeans Musonye, Darwin Mukidza, Peter Karia, Mohammed Omolo and Tony Onyango grounded a try each with Mukidza making five conversions.

Although the Namibia trip looks impossible on paper, Ambaka and Snook are optimistic of positive result.

“The first step now is getting the recovery and that is when we start focusing on Namibia. We all know they are a very good side but I believe we are capable of getting away with the win,” underlined Ambaka.

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