Kenya Simbas end 2023 Rugby World Cup Final Qualification with Hong Kong loss

Kenya Simbas captain Dan Sikuta leads the side tto the pitch. Photo Courtesy/World Rugby.

Kenya Simbas finished bottom in the Final Qualification Tournament after allowing Hong Kong to stage a comeback for 22-18 win in match played at the Sevens Stadium.

The Simbas made a poor start to the competition, losing 68-14 to the USA Eagles and 85-0 to Portugal in the second round. They were keen to win this to end their campaign on a high, to boost their rankings.

Week full of events

Paul Odera charges headed to this match after a week of events, with reports circulating that the players were on strike and would be boycotting the game. They however received a boost from Hildana Lodge and honoured the match.

An impressive start for the Simbas saw them take an 18-7 lead to the break, following two tries, a conversion and two penalties.

10 minutes into the game, centre John Okoth landed the opening try and the lead lasted for nine minutes before Luke Van Der Smit cancelled it after scoring at the other end.  Gregor McNeish added the extras for a 7-5.

Jacob Ojee restored Simbas lead when he crossed over for another try that Geoffrey Ominde converted for a 12-7 lead. The Simbas stretched the lead by six points after Ominde drilled in two penalties before halftime.

Final half

In the final half, Hong Kong came back stronger and bagged a penalty before Sean Taylor got a try that was converted for a 18-17 scoreline.

The Hong Kong side won the match through a Jak Lam try that went unconverted in the 68th minute. The Simbas  finish bottom in the group with a point.

Kenya Simbas squad

15.Darwin Mukidza, 14. Jacob Ojee, 13. Bryceson Adaka, 12. John Okoth, 11. Brian Tanga, 10. Geoffrey Ominde, 9. Samuel Asati, 1. Patrick Ouko, 2. Eugene Sifuna, 3. Ephraim Oduor, 4. Malcolm Onsando (captain), 5. Brian Juma, 6. George Nyambua, 7. Martin Owilah, 8. Bethuel Anami

REPLACEMENTS 16. Brian Waraba (potential debut), 17. Andrew Siminyu, 18. Joseph Odero, 19. Clinton Odhiambo, 20. Joshua Weru, 21. Samson Onsomu, 22. Timothy Omela, 23. Geoffrey Okwach

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