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SPORTS

Kenya begins Tri-Nations rugby campaign on a losing note

RUGBY By -RODGERS ESHITEMI | November 14th 2013

By RODGERS ESHITEMI

LeslIe Ochiengo of Nondies (holding the ball) is challenged by Hastings Nyariki (left) and Edwin Salamba of Strathmore in a past Zuku Impala Floodlit tournament.

Kenya began their Tri-Nations campaign on a losing note, trailing 26-14 at half time before falling to a 29-14 loss to Zimbabwe on Tuesday at the Hage Geingob Stadium, Windhoek, Namibia.

Zimbabwe’s winger Tengai Nemadire scored a try before   fly half Lenience Tambwera converted for a 7-0 lead.

The duo proved too good for their opponents as Tambwera slotted home two penalties following a series of infringements with the Sables enjoying more possession.

Nemadire converted Zimbabwe’s second try with less than seven minutes of first half action remaining before Tambwera weighed in with a penalty and try as they took a 26-0 lead into the breather.

But after a half time pep talk by head coach Jerome Paarwater, the Kenyan team came back into the match a more rejuvenated side with prop forward Isaiah Nyariki, scoring his maiden test try on his full international debut on restart before Kenny Andola converted to cut the deficit to 26-7.

Lock Oliver Mang’eni then scored his maiden test try soon after Andola’s conversion reducing the deficit to 26-14.

The second half remained a fair contest as Kenya played with purpose, dominating possession but threw away several try scoring opportunities. With a few minutes to stoppage time, Tambwera slotted home his fourth penalty of the night as Zimbabwe held on for the 29-14 win, avenging their 17-29 defeat to Kenya during the Africa Cup final in July.

This is a great come back for Zimbabwe in the Tri-Nations fixtures following their 35-26 defeat to hosts Namibia on Friday.

Kenya coach Jerome Paarwater conceded defeat and demanded a quick response from his players ahead of Saturday’s clash against Namibia.

“We had a poor first half. We came back strongly in the second half, but the amount of try scoring opportunities we wasted eventually proved costly. We now regroup and ready ourselves for the match against Namibia on Saturday.”—[email protected]


 

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