Will Simbas survive Brazil onslaught?

Friday, November 19th, 2021 00:00 |
The Simbas taking part in a training match at the RFUEA Grounds in Nairobi. Photo/PD/ALEX NJUE

After a bruising 60-24 loss to Namibia in Stellenbosch last Sunday, Kenya Simbas face Brazil tomorrow as they seek a third-place finish in a World Rugby four-team tournament in South Africa.  

The tournament aimed at boosting the World Cup preparations kicked off at the semis stage last weekend where Namibia and Zimbabwe registered wins against Kenya and Brazil respectively to set a date in the finals.

 Back-to-back records against Brazil will favour Kenya but the South American side is in good form and only lost by two points against Zimbabwe (24-22). 

 Africa regional qualifiers are set to be held in France in July 2022 where main rivals Namibia, Zimbabwe and Kenya seek to book a place in France 2023, while Brazil will face Colombia, Paraguay and Chile in the South American qualifiers. 

 In the quadrangular competition last weekend, Simbas forwards failed to protect pride by giving away their first half (24-19) lead to lose 60-24 to Namibia after conceding 41 points at the rate of a point a minute for the entire returning half.

  The match played at the Stellenbosch in South Africa resulted in Kenya dropping points on the global rankings but still managed to hold on position 35 and will need a win against Brazil to avoid a further drop.

  Simbas suffered a series of upsets in the forwards departments for a horrible show that surpassed the previous three-year old 53-28 loss. 

 Coach Paul Odera side came off an 84-17 loss to South African Currie Cup select team the previous weekend and was poised to bring in their A game against the Welwitschias courtesy of a good warm up match and an additional Kabras forwards quartet arrival to boost the team but the team threw up a good lead to lose big.

  Simbas are under an improved set up with World Rugby consultant Peter Drewett working with coach Paul Odera and his deputy Michael Aung in Nairobi since October. 

  In south Africa a specialist trio of backline coach Neil de Kock, and forwards coaching duo of Ernst Joubert and Johann Zeier worked with the Simbas in preparation for the match but as the clocks ticks towards the France 2023 RWC qualifiers, heavy investment in the forwards is needed to boost the maiden qualifications dream.  Next Simbas face South African top league side the Cheetahs on November 24.

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