Kenya Chipu win Barthes Trophy to qualify for World Rugby U20 Trophy

Michael Wamalwa of Kenya Chipu in action against Zimbabwe.[Fanaka Studios,X]

Kenya's under-20 rugby team, Chipu, mounted a remarkable comeback to secure a historic 28-13 victory over Zimbabwe's Junior Sables, claiming the 2024 Barthes Trophy in Harare.

This win also saw Chipu qualify for the World Rugby U20 Trophy

The hosts enjoyed possession and territory early on, and seemed to be coasting, Tawana Nyashabwane scoring off the rolling maul for their opening try after eleven minutes of play before Edward Sigauke touched down, pouncing on the bounce from Benoni Nkhairo’s chip to put Zimbabwe 10-0 up.

Even with the scores in Zimbabwe’s favor, it was Chipu dominating their opponents in the forwards and got their first points on the board when Iddo Kuta barged over from a scrum in Zimbabwe’s five. James Olela converted to bring the score to 10-7.

Chipu continued to dominate with Michael Wamalwa landing his fourth try of the tournament as they led for the first time in this match, Olela missing the conversion with the scores at 12-10.

Patrick Wainaina then scored a third try for Chipu, breaking from the base of the scrum to put his side 17-10 up at the interval.

Another Olela penalty after the restart took Chipu 20-10 ahead as Chipu continued to assert their dominance in the forwards.

Nkhario’s penalty brought Zimbabwe to 20-13 but a try from captain Andy Cole Omolo and Philip Okeyo secured the result as Chipu won their third title, having previously won in 2019 and 2021.

Speaking after the match, Chipu head coach Simon Jawichre said he was happy with the never die spirit of the young boys.

 “This game could have gone either way but it went our way. The boys followed the script to the letter. We put in the work on our setpieces, it showed in the match and the results speak for themselves,” said Jawichre.

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