Simbas caged in bid for World Cup ticket

By Rodgers Eshitemi: Saturday, August 18th 2018 at 19:20 GMT +3 | Rugby
Kenya's Oliver Mang'eni is tacled by Fortunate Chipendo of Zimbabwe during Africa Gold Cup at RFUEA Stadium Grounds on Saturday, June 30, 2018. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

Brave efforts by Kenyans not enough as hosts secure ticket for global event in Japan.

Namibia continued their dominance over Kenya’s Simbas on Saturday.

They beat the national 15s rugby team 53-28 to successfully retain the Rugby Africa Gold Cup title, in the title decider at Hage Geingob National Rugby Stadium.

The victory saw the South Africans secure their sixth consecutive World Cup ticket as Kenya face another uphill task to win the four nations repêchage tournament in November in France to qualify for next year’s global show piece in Japan.

Namibia went ahead through a penalty try before Darwin Mukidza converted William Ambaka try’s to give the Simbas a 7-3 lead.

However, the defending champions started piling pressure on the Kenyan defence and after earning three penalties in a row, Chrysander Botha pounced on a looseball to dot down a converted try for the hosts (10-7).

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The hosts then capitalised on Kenya’s poor kick off to extend the lead through Darry de la Harpe’s converted try before Mukidza booted his penalty kick wide.

Lotsa would score the third try for Namibia to give them a comfortable 22-7 lead to the break.

The defensively dominant Namibia grabbed their fourth try moments after restart before Lotsa’s penalty kick.

Ambaka then outpaced the Namibian defence to grab his brace to make the score 32-14, but the champions responded immediately off their kick off through Mahepisa Tjeriko’s try.

Namibia were awarded a penalty try to extend the lead to 46-14 as Ambaka was sinbinned after a dangerous tackle.

Substitute Malcom Onsando grounded Kenya’s third try after an impressive run from Mukidza before Mohamed Omollo also got his name on the score sheet, but that could not stop the hosts from qualifying directly for the World Cup.

Kenya went into the match needing to beat Namibia to head to Japan after both teams had defeated Zimbabwe, Tunisia, Morocco and Uganda in their previous matches.

Meanwhile, winger Waisake Naholo scored a double as New Zealand recovered from a slow start to overrun Australia 38-13 yesterday and extend the Wallabies’ Bledisloe Cup jinx in Sydney. 

The world champions scored six tries to one in the first Test, which also doubles as the Rugby Championship opener, for their third win at ANZ Stadium in as many years.

Australia’s hopes of claiming the Bledisloe for the first time since 2002 now rest on winning the second Test in the three-match series next week at Eden Park, where they have not tasted victory since 1986.

All Blacks captain Kieran Read admitted the Wallabies dominated the first half, with his team trailing 6-0 until Aaron Smith’s opening try.

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