Kenya Simbas made the first step towards World Cup qualification as they made an easy job of Uganda Cranes to win 42-7 in their opening match of the knockout tournament in France.
Despite the clash promising to be an explosive one, the Cranes terribly failed to live up to their end of the bargain, letting in six converted tries to lose out to arch-rivals Kenya.
Kenya made their intentions known early on as John Okoth reached out from a carry few meters out of the Ugandan try line to put the first points on the board. Mukidza would then add the extras to lead 7-0 two barely two minutes into the knockout match.
Thomas Okeyo would then extend the Simbas’ lead, charging over to score near the uprights, Mukidza adding the twos for a 14-0 lead as both teams went into a water break.
Collins Injera’s try was then disallowed for a forward pass before Kenya was denied yet another try after the TMO spotted a knock-on from John Okoth.
Continued pressure from the Simbas saw Samuel Asati dummy and dot down near the padding to make the scores 21-0. Strathmore Leos forward Bethuel Anami barged over from close range for Kenya’s fourth try in what was turning out to be a ruthless beating of their neighbours and arch-rivals Uganda Cranes.
This was the last score as both teams headed into the break Kenya leading 28-0.
The second half proved to be a continuation of the first as John Okoth latched onto a beautifully floated pass by Asati to breach the Cranes’ defence for Kenya’s fifth.
Two more tries from both teams would wrap up the clash that unexpectedly turned out to be one-sided, the Simbas winning 42-7 at the full-time whistle.
Simbas will face the winner of Algeria-Senegal match in the semis.
Kenya Simbas Starting XV: 1 Patrick Ouko, 2 Eugene Sifuna, 3 Ephraim Oduor, 4 Malcolm Onsando, 5 Thomas Okeyo, 6 George Nyambua, 7 Daniel Sikuta (captain), 8 Bethwel Anami, 9 Samuel Asati, 10 Dominic Coulson,11 Collins Injera, 12 John Okoth, 13 Vincent Onyala, 14 Jacob Ojee, 15 Darwin Mukidza.
Replacements: 16 Teddy Akala, 17 Edward Mwaura, 18 Joseph Odero, 19 Brian Juma, 20 Davis Chenge, 21 Brian Tanga, 22 Jone Kubu, 23 Andrew Matoka.
Uganda Rugby Cranes Starting XV: 1 Santos Ssenteza, 2 Faragi Odugo, 3 Asuman Mugerwa, 4 Charles Uhuru, 5 Eliphaz Emong, 6 Mark Omoding, 7 Joaquim Chisano, 8 Scott Oluoch, 9 Paul Epillo, 10 Ivan Magomu (captain), 11 Lawrence Ssebuliba, 12 Pius Ogena, 13 Innocent Gwokto, 14 Solomon Okia, 15 Philip Wokorach.
Replacements: 16 Ronald Kanyanya, 17 Collin Kimbowa, 18 Michael Otto, 19 Emmanuel Ecodu, 20 Akera Komakech, 21 Jacob Ochen, 22 Conrad Wanyama, 23 Joseph Aredo.