Kenya Simbas’ dream of featuring at the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan hang in the balance after they were hammered 65-19 by Canada in a one-sided repechage clash at the Stade Delort in Marssaille, France yesterday.
Kenya will play Hong Kong on November 17 and close with a tie against Germany on November 23 in the four-team competition where the winner of the round-robin tournament will clinch a ticket to the World Cup and join defending champions New Zealand, South Africa, Italy and Namibia who have already qualified.
Simbas went to the break trailing 12-27 but returned to a nervy second half where they conceded 38 points while managing a converted try.
Canada picked the bonus win courtesy of 10 tries, six conversions and a penalty while Simbas managed three tries and two conversions.
Simbas’ tries were scored by winger Tony Onyango, lock George Nyambua and inside centre Leo Seje with Darwin Mukidza converting twice.
Fullback Mukidza failed to drill in an attempted penalty in the seventh minute after Canada flanker Matt Heaton was sin-binned for a dangerous tackle with the North Americans leading 3-0.
Hart-trick hero Van der Merwe scored Canada’s opener with skipper Phil Mack adding the second.
The loss handed Simbas crucial lessons which head coach Ian Snook will be hoping to learn from ahead of their next fixture against Hong Kong, a side Kenya have beaten on different occasions.
Canada will be out to make it two wins out of two on the same day when they take on Germany as they plot a return to the World Cup.