Simbas in tight spot after second Victoria Cup loss

Monday, August 5th, 2019 00:31 |
Kenya Simbas flanker Ekeans Musonye goes for a try during a 2018 Africa Gold Cup match against Tunisia at the RFUEA grounds. Photo/ALEX NJUE

Kenya Simbas (Kenya 15s) now have two must-win matches while hoping results elsewhere go their way if they have to win this year’s Victoria Cup.

Simbas hopes suffered a dent after losing by one point, 30-29 to Zimbabwe at the Hartfield grounds in Bulawayo on Saturday.

This was Zimbabwe’s third straight win in the competition which gives them a healthy lead on the four-team standings with Kenya, who have lost two and won as much, second now as Uganda, with a victory, and winless Zambia in third and fourth spots respectively.

Costly mistakes

For Kenya to dethrone Zimbabwe, they will have to win their two return fixtures against Zambia and Zimbabwe in Nairobi on August 24 and September 21 respectively while hoping the Sable stumble in their three remaining matches.

It is a difficult arithmetic for Paul Odera’s charges given this was Zimbabwe’s 13th win over them in 21 matches.

Before thinking of a winning strategy, Simbas will have to polish their conversions and errors that gave Zimbabwe penalty advantages as the hosts kicked off with a quick 10-0 lead in the first 20 minutes.

As the Sables were slowly making their way to the Simbas territory, a slow pass was intercepted by Johnstone Mung’au who played in Monate Akuei to land the Simbas first try. Jacob Ojee’s conversion attempt sailed wide for a 10-5 Zimbabwe lead. 

Three minutes later, a Zimbabwean cross kick worked in their favour as they landed a corner post try with the conversion perfectly splitting the twos for a 17-5 lead.

With 10 minutes left to the breather, Anthony Odhiambo went over the whitewash for Simbas second try followed by a moment of magic from Ojee who danced and swung past several defenders before he was tackled. 

Scrumhalf on first half duty Samson Onsomu cleared the ruck, the ball finding its way to Monate’s hand who landed his post as he dived for a center post try. Fly half Charles Kuka added the twos for a 17-17 half-time score.

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