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Meet Andrew Matoka the hero who sent Kenya Under to JWRT

Peer influence! That was how Andrew Matoka ended up joining the rugby world. This was not a long time ago, as his rugby journey began in 2016 at Alliance High School.

A year later he would finish as the top points scorer at the 2017 National School Games and since then he has never looked back.  Matoka came to fame after he nailed a long-range penalty goal for Kenya U-20 in the dying minutes of the Barthes Cup final to secure a historic 21-18 win over Namibia to send his peers to Brazil. In that match, he would be named the Man of the Match after his exploits.

The win over Namibia, came just a day after his side Strathmore Leos got relegated from the top tier after 11 years of stay. Matoka missed Strathmore Leos’ 24-0 loss to Blak Blad and he revealed that remains to be the worst moment of his career. He would stand tall at the KCB Sports Club to earn Kenya the first win over Namibia and that became the best moment in his career.

“The lowest moment was when we were relegated, while the highest moment was when we won the Barthes Cup.”

Standing at 6ft 172 pounds, Matoka is described by his teammate as a passionate and self-driven guy who works so hard day in day out to improve his skill on the field.

Every training session for Matoka is not the same as for his teammates. He creates out an additional time to train for kicks both territorial and for posts. His speed has enabled him to play at right wing, fly-half and when he summoned into action his kicking skills, he found a home at fullback.

The Commerce student wished to play for Impala after high school but his high school coach John Karimi had other ideas. He believed his talent would be well natured at Strathmore Leos.

“My dream club was Impala but due to my high school coach influence, Mr. John Karimi advised me to join Strathmore which I did immediately after high school”

Matoka earned the Chipu call up after attending trials held at RFUEA Grounds which attracted over 150 players and he felt good to get a chance to wear national team colors.

“I felt great as this was a chance to represent Kenya and a strive towards joining the senior teams. The environment at the camp was generally good, one lesson I learned was to always believe in yourself no matter what the situation is”

“I felt great as this was a chance to represent Kenya and a strive towards joining the senior teams. The environment at the camp was generally good, one lesson I learned was to always believe in yourself no matter what the situation is”

Playing against Namibia was a tough one for Matoka and teammates as the visitors capitalized on Chipu’s simple mistakes and turned them to points, putting his side under the pump the better part of the game.

“Namibia was a tough one as they punished us using our own simple mistakes. I felt happy after the final whistle as anything could happen in a game of rugby within a short time. The tournament was an eye opener on how international rugby is outside there”

The Kenya U-20 team will make a return to World Rugby U-20 trophy after 10 years absence and Matoka will be keen to showcase his skills in the world stage come July. The one-time Mwamba Cup champion and top points scorer in the 2017 national school games looks up to Philip Wokorach locally and Darmian Mckenzie internationally as his motivation and also is an ardent Crusaders fan.

“I look up to Philip Wokorach and Darmian Mckenzie. Their style of play is what I like most as they make the hard stuff look obvious. Internationally I support New Zealand while in super rugby I support Crusaders”

After completion of his studies, Matoka wishes to get a job and play for KCB or maybe Kenya Harlequins.

“After University I’d like to get a good job and continue playing rugby. I don’t think I will stop that right now. I wish to play for KCB or maybe Kenya Harlequins locally. Abroad, that I cannot say as per now”

Matoka will be in action next for the Chipu during summer in the World Rugby U-20 Trophy to be staged in Sao Jose dos Campos, Brazil.

Name:  Matoka Andrew Matoka
Nickname:  Matoka squared
Position: 10,11,14,15
Course: Commerce
University: Strathmore University
Weight: 78kg
Height: 6ft

Accolades: Barthes Cup winner and  MVP, Mwamba Cup winner

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