Kenya Lionesses showcased an impressive performance to register a 39-17 win over Zambia in the Rugby Africa Cup match played at the Wankulukuku Stadium in Kampala, Uganda.
It was the first time these two teams were facing each other in the 15s version of the game.
The game was slow-paced, probably because both teams were visitors to Uganda. It however picked up minutes after the Lionesses roared first.
Peruz Muyuka put her name first on the scoresheet, after incredibly dancing through Zambia’s defense. The conversion attempt was unsuccessful.
Despite having a stronger backline, the Lionesses put enough pressure on the Zambians’ defense to add five more points through Rose Otieno. Ann Goretti would then convert for a 12-0 lead. Goretti then scored a drop goal to confirm Kenya’s lead.
Dennis Mwanja’s charges took too long to settle after their second try, and Mary Liamba would capitalize on that, scoring Zambians’ first try that sent fans at Wankulukuku Stadium wild. Her attempt to secure three more points was unsuccessful.
The Zambians, confident after their first try made an infringement, costing them three points which Grace Odhiambo collected.
Towards the end of the final half, the Zambians would kick into the Lionesses’ territory, putting pressure on the Lionesses and forcing them to make mistakes. They would capitalize on that to score another five-pointer through Veronicah Lungu. The conversion was successful off her boots.
From the lineout, the Lionesses showcased patience allowing time for the forwards to gain space before the ball landed on Christabel Lindo’s hands for another five-pointer. The conversion went off Grace Odhiambo’s foot bringing the scores to 23-12 before the end of the final half.
Zambia started off the second half on the wrong footing, and an infringement in the ruck cost them three points which Grace Odhiambo collected.
Goretti would continue to show her prowess with another drop-goal putting Kenya 11 points above Zambia.
Zambia’s poor run continued when they got penalized again, but this time Odhiambo’s effort to collect more points was unsuccessful.
Kenya Lionesses’ forwards put up their best foot forward this time, piling more pressure on Zambians who lost it, and Leah Wambui went wild with a try. Goretti added the extras.
Kenya Lionesses, now more motivated than ever, continued to pile pressure on the Zambians, who infringed yet again. Goretti’s magical feet secured the three points.
Meryl Yamba’s speed past the Lionesses’ defence led the crowd to cheers as they touched the whitewash to score Zambia’s third try. The conversion attempt was successful.
Zambia piled pressure on themselves, committing mistakes that earned Lionesses three more points through Goretti’s boots. Goretti’s conversion saw the Lionesses win 36-17 over Zambia.
The Lionesses will take on Uganda Wednesday 2 November in what many rugby fans refer to as a derby. They will be keen to upset the noisy neighbours.