The 2018 Africa Gold Cup enters its penultimate round on Saturday 11 August with Kenya Simbas hosting Tunisia at Nairobi’s RFUEA ground starting 2:00pm.
Saturday’s duel will be the 10th meeting between the sides,the first one having been played on 20 September 1997 in the Tunisian capital of Tunis where the hosts ran over Kenya with a 52-5 result.
Simbas boast of a superior head to head record having won six and lost on only three occasions.You have to go back to 2008 when Tunisia last defeated Kenya with a 44-15 result.
Tunisia 52-5 Kenya (Tunis,20 Sept 1997)
Kenya 37-15 Tunisia (Nairobi,21 May 2005)
Kenya 26-21 Tunisia (Nairobi, 10 June 2006)
Tunisia 31-12 Kenya (Tunis, 23 Sept 2006)
Tunisia 44-15 Kenya (Tunis, 2 Aug 2008)
Kenya 16-7 Tunisia (Nairobi, 12 Nov 2011)
Tunisia 24-31 Kenya (Tunis, 14 Jul 2012)
Kenya 46-15 Tunisia (Nairobi,28 June 2015)
Kenya 100-10 Tunisia (Nairobi, 8 July 2017)
The last meeting between Kenya and Tunisia was during the 2017 Africa Gold Cup where Kenya scored 15 tries,11 conversions and a solitary penalty to earn a 100-10 win.
Ahead of the duel,Kenya coach Ian Snook was quoted by KRU as saying: “I know they beat Zimbabwe and Zimbabwe ran us close. I have seen their other results and watched their games so I know it will be a physical game which will take the normal 100% effort from the boys.Tunisia have been in town all week so will have had plenty of time to fine-tune things and be well prepared.”
Kenya currently sit at 28th position on the World Rugby rankings having garnered 56.30 points while their Saturday’s opponents Tunisia have recently been on a downward trajectory.
According to the updated rankings released on Monday 6th August,the North Africans fell from position 40 to 43 as a result of their 67-12 loss to Uganda on 4th August.
On matters the Africa Gold Cup,Simbas are perched at second position on 12 points,eight adrift log leaders Namibia with a game at hand.Tunisia who have thus far scored the least number of points in the top division (30) ,occupy fourth position having amassed 4 points.
Kenya Simbas have included Sevens speedster Willy Ambaka who will start at the left wing with KCB’s Martin Owilah also receiving the nod to start at the backrow.Kenya will rely on the evergreen Darwin Mukidza,Jacob Ojee as well as skipper Davis Chenge to do the job.
For the visitors, they will look upon skipper Saif Boussaada to inspire them in recovering from last weekend’s humiliationat the hands of Uganda.The likes of Hayder Nasrallah,Meher Amamou as well as Achraf Dhif will also be key for the North Africans.