Kenya seek first Repechage win after opening loss to Canada.
Kenya Simbas will be hoping to bounce back from the 65-19 humiliation against Canada when they clash with Hong Kong in round two of the Rugby World Cup 2019 Repechage tournament today (3pm) at the Stade Pierre Delort, in Marseille, France.
Just like Kenya, the Asian side also lost 26-9 to Germany who will take on favourites Canada in what is expected to be explosive encounter at 6pm.
This will be the sixth meeting between Hong Kong and Kenya with the former winning their last two friendly fixtures 43-34 and 40-30, last year in Nairobi and Hong Kong respectively.
The four-nations tournament, whose winner will join reigning champions New Zealand, South Africa, Italy and Namibia in Group B of next year’s global showpiece in Japan, could be wrapped up today.
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Leaders Canada (five points) are in pole position to secure the remaining World Cup slot after picking up a bonus point in their emphatic win over the East Africans.
A win of over seven points or a four-try bonus point tonight will guarantee the North Americans a ticket to Japan.
But Ian Snook’s men are in a precarious position with their qualification hopes hanging by a thread after day one’s heavy defeat.
And for Kenya to qualify, they must win convincingly their remaining two matches (Hong Kong and Germany) and pray for the high-flying North Americans to lose at least once without earning a bonus point.
However, having played against Hong Kong before, Snook is aware of what his charges expects from them.
“The Simbas are prepared for the match against Hong Kong this Sunday,” said Snook.
“They (Hong Kong) are a good all-round team who are well organized and have several attacking threats so we will need to step up a few levels in our game in all aspects if we are to beat them.”
Reflecting on the Canada defeat, the New Zealander said: “The set pieces went okay after the initial hiccup at the scrum. We had some good attacking opportunities but were a bit rusty.”