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Kenyan rugby 15s ready for World Cup sojourn

10 June 2014, 11:52

Nairobi - The Kenya Rugby 15 a side team is ready to defend its African title and will have learnt some more about themselves in the friendly loss to South Africa's Western Province.

South Africa's DHL Western Province edged out Kenya's Tusker Simba XV 32-28 in an international friendly fixture played at the RFUEA Grounds on Saturday.

Kenya are preparing to head to Madagascar for World Cup qualification and they played well versus a strong Province side consisting of several season Super Rugby players.

Western Province opened the scoring courtesy of a Robert du Prez penalty but Brian Nyikuli's try and Kenny Andola's conversion put Simba 7-3 up. Chevandre van Schoor and Pat Howard landed in quick succession for the visitors, du Preez converting Howard's try as WP led 15-7 .

Replacement Martin Owila, on for Tony Owuor, scored off a rolling maul, Adola’s conversion making it 15-14 but Sikhumbuzo Notshe grounded, WP taking a 20-14 lead into half time.

Jerome Paarwater made wholesome changes to Simba,  throwing on 14 new players for the second half, amongst them Andrew Amonde, Collins Injera, James Kang'ethe and others.

These changes saw Simba dominate in possession, Lavin Asego releasing Injera deep in midfield, Injera racing to the try line with Lyle Asiligwa converting for a 21-20 Simba lead. Asego would conjure up a try for Patrice Agunda, chipping over the onrushing WP defense, Agunda landing the ball with Asiligwa converting for a 28-20 lead. Michael van der Spuy would exit the match, sustaining a neck injury. A late rally saw Stephan Coetzee going over to bring WP to within three points of Simba before Lungelo Chonco landed, his converted try handing WP the 32-28 result and the Lafarge Cup which was donated by Bamburi Cement Limited. 

“It was tough as expected. There are few things that we need to polish on before heading to Madagascar,” noted captain Wilson K’Opondo.

“Things will not be easy there so we plan to go out guns blazing. We know that other teams are training hard.”

His opposite number Rayn Smid said; “they had the ball for the long periods dïstracting our game plan. As a team preparing to go to the world cup, they played well but it will be better if they play more of a territorial game.”

"A simple error proved costly but overall I am happy with the improvement in the squad,” said Paarwater ,expressing satisfaction about team cohesion.

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