Kenya closing in on World Cup debut
Kenya closing in on World Cup debutSHARE
Kenya moved closer to a first World Cup appearance by outplaying hosts Madagascar 34-0 at a qualifying tournament in Antananarivo.
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 (no 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 qualifying tournament's winners.
The runners-up go into a Repechage semifinal 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 flyhalf Kenny Andola succeeded with only one of four conversion attempts and scrumhalf 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 yellow cards amid claims of eye gouging.
Zimbabwe built a 17-10 half-time advantage before forwards Dian Wiese and Rohan Kitshoff scored tries to give Namibia victory.
Scorers and scores:
Namibia 24 Zimbabwe 20
Tries: Penalty try, Dian Wiese, Rohan Kitshoff
Cons: Theuns Kotze 3
Tries. Tangai Nemadire, Stephan Hunduza
Cons: Guy Cronje 2
Pens: Cronje 2
Madagascar 0 Kenya 34
Tries: Ronnie Mwenesi 3, Joshua Chisanga 2, Humphrey Kayange
Cons: Kenny Andola, Lyle Asiligwa
Yellow cards: Tolotra Ramaromiantso (Madagascar, 54), Collins Injera (Kenya, 54)
Red card: Soloniaina Razafindratsimba (Madagascar, 69)
Standings (played, won, drawn, lost, points scored, points conceded, bonus points, total)
Kenya 2 2 0 0 63 22 2 10
Zimbabwe 2 1 0 1 77 46 2 6
Namibia 2 1 0 1 46 49 1 5
Madagascar 2 0 0 2 22 91 0 0
* Point allocation – four for a win, two for a draw, one for losing by seven or fewer points, one for scoring four or more tries in a game
Sunday, July 6
Kenya v Zimbabwe (10.00 GMT)
Madagascar v Namibia (12.00 GMT)
* Note: mini-league winners qualify for World Cup and runners-up play Russia away in a Repechage semifinal