Simbas successfully defended the Elgon Cup courtesy of a 38-22 win over Uganda Cranes in a match watched by a capacity crowd at the RFUEA Grounds in Nairobi to scale further on the African Gold Cup standings.
The win, put the side on a sound footing in the tournament set to produce the African qualifier for the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.
Sitting second on the six-team competition log, Simbas will also be expecting a rise on the world standings in the course of the day courtesy of the Saturday win, a second successful home win after a previous 45-36 win over Zimbabwe.
Kenya’s double over Cranes rewarded the Simbas with a 72-38 aggregate win, a wrap up of the campaign kicked of in May 27 in Kampala with a 34-16 away win.
Saturdays win was made possible courtesy of a penalty and five converted tries while the visitors managed four tries and a conversion to deny Simbas a bonus point, a third fixture Simbas have won in a row without a bonus to leave Kenya’s tally at 12 points, to leave defending champs and rivals Namibia in the lead owing to three bonus points.
Coming off the bench Front rower Moses Amusala scored Simbas last try to further a lead laboured by Simbas winger Jacob Ojee, Samson Onsomu, Felix Ayange and skipper Davies Chenge with a try each.
Simba coach Ian Snook was pleased with how Simbas took their chances well for the win which places them second behind Namibia.
“We took our chances well early in the game for the lead, a few errors cost us some clear chances mostly in the second half to give the opponent unnecessary give-aways. Uganda was well prepared for the match, came in the second half and disrupted our systems with their forwards but we had anticipated that and our forwards responded well to contain them,” said Snook.
Simbas led the match 28-5 at the break, predicting a good day in office only for the Cranes to bounce back with daring breaks in the second period, Ivan Magomu scoring Uganda’s second try to cut the deficit to 28-12.
Philip Wokorach returned to the scoring sheet with his second as Michael Okorach crossed over the chalk for their fourth try.
Clinically, Simbas dominated the entire first half but lost footing in the second half, Andrew Chogo got sin-binned for tripping a Ugandan centre to reduce the squad to 14 men.
Cranes head coach John Duncan was not a happy man, losing second African cup match in Nairobi, wounded deeply by his players laxity to take their chances in the first half, a period which Kenya managed three tries ahead of Uganda.
“We relaxed in the first half and conceded many points and by the time we settled in the match, we could not fix the gap,” Duncan commented.