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Dominant Kenya closer to rugby World Cup debut

03 July 2014, 11:50

Antananarivo - Kenya moved closer to a first Rugby World Cup appearance by outplaying qualifying tournament hosts Madagascar 34-0 in Antananarivo on Wednesday.

Namibia, seeking to compete at the rugby union showpiece for a fifth consecutive time, kept alive their slim hopes with a come-from-behind 24-20 victory over Zimbabwe.

Kenya (10 points) meet Zimbabwe (six points) on Sunday in the first half of a Stade Mahamasina double-header before Madagascar (0 points) face Namibia (five points).

The Kenyan Lions, who edged Namibia in the opening round last weekend, could lose to Zimbabwe and still finish first by collecting two bonus points.

A place in Pool C of the 2015 World Cup with title-holders New Zealand, Argentina, Tonga and Georgia is the prize for the mini-league winners.

The runners-up go into a repechage semi-final against Russia in Siberian city Krasnoyarsk with the victors playing Uruguay or Hong Kong over two legs for a ticket to England.

A Kenyan side showing 11 changes from the Namibia game used a much heavier pack to deadly effect before a 20,000 crowd.

Lock Ronnie Mwenesi scored three tries and No. 8 Joshua Chisanga one from driving mauls off line-outs on a chilly, windy and wet afternoon in the Malagasy capital.

Chisanga claimed a second touchdown after breaking from a scrum, an area of the game where the lighter home pack were continually on the back foot.

Centre Humphrey Kayange was the lone Kenyan back to score a try, darting over after an intercept midway through an opening half which ended with the visitors 27-0 ahead.

Goal-kicking in the wind proved difficult and fly-half Kenny Andola succeeded with only one of four conversion attempts and scrum-half Lyle Asiligwa with one of two shots.

Madagascar restricted Kenya to one try in a fiery second half with English referee Luke Pearce showing a red card and two yellows amid claims of eye gouging.

Zimbabwe built a 17-10 half-time advantage before forwards DG Wiese and Rohan Kitshoff scored tries to give Namibia victory.

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