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Rugby: Kenya humbled by South Africa in opening test match

WOMEN IN SPORTS By Washington Onyango | August 13th 2021
Springbok Women's Zintle Mpupha in action againt Kenya Lioness during a test match played in South Africa.[Courtesy-Springbok]

National rugby 15s women's team, Kenya Lionesses were thrashed 66-0 by Springboks Women in a test match played at Stellenbosch in South Africa.

South Africa scored 12 unanswered tries in the match which was part of the two tests aimed at helping Kenya Lionesses prepare for the World Rugby Repechage clash against Columbia.

Zintle Mpupha scored four tries to lead the Springbok Women to a massive win in their first international outing in almost two years.

Eloise Webb bagged a brace alongside Veroeshka Grain and Sizophila Solontsi as Felicia Jacobs, Chumisa Qawe and Sinazo Mcatshulwa also got to the score sheet.

Kenya started the match well, keeping the ball through a number of phases, but the Springbok Women were not allowing them any spaces to score.

Mpupha scored the first of her three first-half tries from the first attack, with the ball sent wide after a good forward set-up and it was 5-0 after eight minutes.

A minute later she scored again - after good break down the right by wing Veroeshka Grain, before the ball was worked to the left and Mpupha went over in the same corner.

Grain then turned provider to send fullback Eloise Webb over in the corner for the first of her two tries. Flanker Lusanda Dumke had a strong burst which had the Kenyan defence under pressure and from the resulting play, Webb found space to score.

Kenya started to gain some ground in the game, mainly by using their pack of forwards, which forced SA into conceding penalties.

It also stopped the local side's scoring spree, but only temporarily as Grain was sent over in the corner after a lineout win near the Kenyan line.

The ball was moved swiftly and with good passing to the right and after 25 minutes, Grain added the fourth try of the match.

Webb scored her second 29 minutes in. The Bok lineout drive was stopped, but when the ball was moved to the back, Webb joined the line at the correct moment and angle to beat two defenders to the line.

Mpupha converted for a 27-0 lead, before she went over for her third try just before the break after the South Africans kicked ahead and won the race to the line.

Solontsi scored from a powerful Bok scrum to bring the half to a close.

The second half started in the same try-scoring fashion. Jacobs scored a quick try from close range before inside centre Chumisa Qawe’s hard run resulted in her five pointer, which was converted by Mpupha to take the lead out to 49-0.

Mpupha then added her fourth before she was given a well-earned rest.

Kenya will play South Africa again on Monday.

Lionesses squad: 1.Mercy Migongo, 2. Staycy Atieno(Vice-Captain), 3. Rose Otieno, 4. Peruse Muyuka, 5. Naomi Amuguni, 6. Mitchelle Akinyi, 7. Diana Kemunto, 8. Laurine Akoth, 9. Faith Marindany, 10. Joy Kendagor(Captain), 11. Priscah Nyerere, 12. Winnie Owino, 13. Sophia Ayieta, 14. Linet Moraa, 15. Sinaida Nyachio.

Reserves: 16. Knight Otuoma, 17. Julliet Nyambura, 18. Evelyne Kalemera, 19. Bernadette Olesia, 20. Leah Wambui, 21. Judith Auma, 22. Anne Njeri, 23. Anne Goreti.

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