Kenya: Rugby: Kenya shift focus to repêchage tourney after Namibia defeat

Namibia face Kenya with a World Cup spot up for grabs

Namibia face Kenya with a World Cup spot up for grabs

The victor of the match will qualify for Rugby World Cup 2019 in Japan as Africa 1, joining reigning champions New Zealand, South Africa, Italy and the repechage victor in Pool B.

Namibia went onto the offensive from the start on Saturday, forcing the visitors to concede an early penalty try.

Head coach Ian Snook equally believes with good preparation, the Simbas can still grab the final 20th World Cup slot in Japan. Well done as well to Kenya who kept going and played really well.

The New Zealander has called in Dalmus Chituyi, Felix Ayange and Curtis Lilako to return for Kenya's final Rugby Africa Gold Cup clash away to Namibia.

Despite scoring 44 tries and only conceding five at the other end to top the Rugby Africa Gold Cup table with a flawless record, Namibia coach Phil Davies is too experienced to take anything for granted when his side take on Kenya in Windhoek on Saturday for a place at Rugby World Cup 2019.

Namibia need only draw to remain first while Kenya must win to join defending champions New Zealand, South Africa, Italy and the repechage winners in Pool B in Japan next year.

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But with the East African side still having another opportunity to battle with Germany, Hong Kong and Canada in the round-robin repêchage event between November 11-23 in Marseille, the Simbas captain Chenge is hopeful of making it to Japan. We picked up our first point at the World Cup in 2015 and the aim if we make it next year is to pick up our first win.

"My boys have played really well for short spells of matches, but we have not been consistently good, so raising our game in Namibia is essential. It has been hard with no warm-up games and going in cold for one-off test matches", said Snook.

"They've come here the last couple of years feeling that they can beat us, and while there is a bit more riding on this match, the challenge is still the same".

Both teams have won their opening four matches but the Namibians' dominance can be seen from the 294 points they have piled, against just 41, for a points difference of +253, in a campaign in which they have scored 45 tries and conceded just five, with four of those tries coming in one match in Zimbabwe. "We can pick up a win in Namibia", Snook told the Kenyan media this week.

Namibia thus bagged gold medal, Kenya took silver with Uganda finishing settling for the bronze despite losing to Zimbabwe 38-18 in Kampala. "It will be a fantastic occasion and one that African Rugby will be proud of, I am sure we will win" Davis said.

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