Photo : Simba XVs pose for the photo after beating Tunisia | By Alex Njue | Shujaa Pride.
The Kenya national rugby fifteens team, Simba XVs, faced Tunisia in an entertaining African Cup (Rugby Afrique) tie at the RFUEA grounds on 28th June 2015. Kenya registered a 46-15 win over the Tunisia.
Having recently lost 28-20 to Zimbabwe in Harare, Simba XVs were eager to beat Tunisia in their second Division 1A Rugby Afrique match at the RFUEA grounds in Nairobi Kenya.
Kurt Weaver from USA was the center referee as Richard Akena and Mulindwa George Collins both from Uganda were the assisting officials.
Kenya started on the wrong footing as they trailed 6-0 within the first five minutes. Tunisia Fullback Khlifa Chams Eddin silenced the fans with a drop goal and a penalty.
KCB’s Darwin Mukidza who played right wing in this game, responded with a try and conversion in the 18th minute.
The North Africans went for points, as they preferred penalty kicks to scrums or punts. Khlifa Eddin then drilled home a penalty and the visitors took a 9-7 lead.
Kenya Harlequins young scrum half; Lyle Asiligwa picked a right arm injury and was quickly replaced by Impala’s Robert Majei Aringo who completed 22 cycles around the sun a week ago.
Samuel Oliech sprinted all the way to the try box and scored a spectacular try dive which was converted by Darwin Mukidza.
Just before half time, Khlifa Eddin reduced the point’s gap deficit with a penalty kick from 60 yards. Kenya went into the break with a hard fought narrow 14-12 lead.
In the second half, the Kenya forwards lead by Captain Brian Nyikuli kept on pushing and keeping the Tunisians at bay. An infringement by Tunisia led to Kenya getting a penalty in a promising position. Darwin opted to take the penalty kick. His kick was good and it gave Kenya a 17-12 lead.
The KCB talisman scored his second try of the day minutes later. He side stepped two opponents before beating Houssen Khalfi in a rat race to touch down although his conversion went wide.
Tunisia’s last action on the scoreboard was Khlifa Chams penalty kick which brought matters to 22-15, Kenya leading.
Mohammed Yassiru and Bicel labicli came in the second half although their introduction to the pitch did not have great impact.
The Nairobi altitude did not favor the Tunisians at all as they tried to slow the game through scrums and racks to get “breathing space”.
A try from Samuel Oliech which was converted by Darwin Mukidza gave Simba XVs a sailing lead. A penalty kick by Mukidza stretched Simba’s lead to 32-15.
Tunisia Head coach made two changes introducing Eddin Nasser and Calim Bashoumi as Jerome Paarwater made two substitutions which saw Curtis Lilako and Dennis Muhanji come in for Simba XVS before Robert Majei Aringo rewarded Kenyans with a superb try and a conversion by Darwin.
Peter Kaaria, Davis Chenge, Vincent Mose and Lawrence Buyachi came in deep in the second half.
Tunisia were reduced to 14 men as their second center Haythem Cheli was sin binned for indiscipline conduct.
Vincent Mose’s introduction had an immediate impact as he touched down the last try of the day. Darwin converted to end the match 46-15 in favor of the host.
Darwin Mukidza was named Man of the Match.
Kenya will next battle it out with Spain in an International Test match at the RFUEA grounds on 18th July 2015. Click here for match details.
They will then face Namibia in a tricky division 1A match in Windhoek on 8th August 2015. Click here for the match details.
Congratulations Simba XVs for flying Kenya’s flag high.