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Mixed results for Kenya rugby teams at international events

Felix Chacha (with ball) of Kenya’s Chipu tackled by Charles Mwadeghu of Uganda during their Rugby Africa U20 Barthes Trophy match at Nyayo National Stadium in Nairobi on April 09, 2022. [Stafford Ondego, Standard]

Kenyan national teams registered mixed results on Saturday and yesterday in an action packed weekend both locally and internationally.

While Kenya Chipu and Kabras Sugar lifted the spirits of local fans in Nairobi, the same cannot be said of the national sevens and 15s teams which were also in action across the globe.

In South Africa, Kenya Simbas went down 51-14 to Valke Falcons in their opening Currie Cup First Division match staged at Bosman Stadium on Saturday.

Simbas are eighth on the Currie Cup First Division standings after their first match of the competition.

Kenya have no points on the 10-team standings. Paul Odera-coached side have a game in hand and are ranked above Zimbabwe’s Goshawks and Border Bulldogs.

On top of the table, Griffons and Valke are tied on 10 points but separated by points differential. The top four teams will proceed to the semi-finals set for mid-June.

In Asia, Shujaa finished a distant 11th at the Singapore Sevens where they collected five points as they fell to 10th in the World Rugby Sevens rankings.

Kenya Sevens campaign in Singapore came to a disappointing end yesterday after they lost 19-10 to Spain in the ninth-place semi-final played at the National Stadium.

Kevin Wekesa and Billy Odhiambo scored in the defeat.

Kenya dropped to the Challenge Trophy quarter-finals after a poor show during the group stages played on Saturday. Innocent Simiyu’s charges lost two matches and won one as they finished third in Group A.

USA handed Shujaa their first defeat after edging the East African nation 12-10 before defending champions South Africa blew them away 26-5.

Kenya salvaged some pride when they overcame Canada 24-7 in their last match but that did not stop them from dropping to the Challenge Trophy.

Yesterday, they defeated Japan 12-10 in a ninth-place quarter-final before losing to Spain in the semis.

Shujaa have won just two matches this weekend and will now shift focus to Vancouver 7s scheduled for next weekend.

Locally, Kenya Under-20 men’s team, Chipu on Saturday thumped Uganda 54-20 to storm into the semi-finals of this year’s Rugby Africa U-20 Barthes Trophy.

Kenya join Namibia, Zimbabwe and Madagascar who had clinched the first three semi-final tickets by sweeping aside Ivory Coast 62-0, Tunisia 19-18 and Zambia 26-14 respectively in the quarters.

Kenya will now face Namibia in the semi-finals on Wednesday.

At the same time, Kabras Sugar stamped their authority in the local Kenya Rugby Union leagues after winning their second title in 2021-2022 season.

South African fly half Ntabeni Dukisa scored three penalties as Kabras Sugar beat KCB 9-3 to retain the Enterprise Cup.

 

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