Kenya Simbas suffer heavy defeat against Currie Cup Champions team

Samuel Asati prepares for a scrum fed during the Kenya Simbas vs Champions Team match. Photo Courtesy/KRU.

Kenya Simbas were handed an 85-17 beating in a Champions Match against the Currie Cup Champions team played at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday.

Simbas are in South Africa for the International Tour where they are scheduled to play a quadrangular tournament involving Namibia, Brazil, and Zimbabwe Sables.

Being the inaugural opponents in the Champions Match, Simbas faced the best of South African domestic rugby as a warm-up to the tournament. They took on a Carling Champion Team, consisting of players selected by fans from the seven Carling Currie Cup Premier Division teams.

The Currie Cup Champions team dominated the clash scoring seven tries and converting five in the opening half. Simbas had one converted try and a penalty in the half.

In the final half, the hosts added six tries while Simbas managed a converted try.

The hosts dominated possession in the opening minutes and quickly ran three tries and converted two for a 19-0 lead by the 10th minute. Chris Smit glided past Kenyan defence and scored the opener which was converted for a 7-0 lead.

Reniel Hugo doubled the lead with a converted try before Schalk Erasmus peeled off the back of a well-oiled maul for the third try which went unconverted.

After close to 20 minutes of play, Fijian-Born back Jone Kubu, making his third appearance for Simbas drilled in a penalty that saw the scores change to 19-3.

The Champions team however hit back with a try after Howard Mnisi fed the ball to Arno Botha for a try at the right corner. The try could not be converted.

Kenya would have added three points to the board but Kubu’s penalty conversion attempt went wide. The hosts quickly stretched the lead with pressure on Samuel Asati forcing him to spill the ball off the scrum. Keagan Johannes was fed with the ball raced on to land the fifth try which was converted for a 31-3 lead.

Kenya were able to pull back with a converted try, it was after Thomas Okeyo had a break and gained ground into their opponents’ 22.

The Champions Team nearly intercept the ball but Kenya quickly regained possession in their opponent’s five and Eugene Sifuna picked unmarked Kubu with a pass and the fly-half dived over for the first try. The Kabras RFC man converted the try for a 31-10.

Quick hands at the other end by Hugo and Botha saw the ball reach Aranos Coetzee who dived over at the left corner for the sixth try.

The seventh try was scored after a combination between Werner Kok who beat Simbas defence line and offloaded an inside pass to Stedman Gans. Gans raced on to score the final try of the first half which was converted for a 45-10 scoreline.

Two minutes into the second half, Phumzile Maqondwana dotted the eighth try after being fed off a ruck. The scoreline stretched further with Kenya spilling the ball and Johannes picked and raced on for the ninth try for a 59-10.

Subsitute Marcel Theunissen fed flanker Nama Xaba their 10th try before Kenya returned to the scoresheet through Brian Tanga with his try being converted for a 66-17 trail. The host added 12 more points with Hugo getting his second as the scoreline shifted to 78-17.

The side sealed the win with a converted try taking the scores to 85-17. Simbas will face Namibia in the quadrangular semis next week.

Kenya Simbas squad: 1.Ian Njenga(Nondies RFC) 2. Eugene Sifuna(Kabras Sugar RFC) 3. Patrick Oyugi(KCB RC) 4. Malcolm Onsando(Kenya Harlequins) 5. Thomas Okeyo(Top Fry Nakuru) 6. Joshua Chisanga(Kenya Harlequins) 7. Dan Sikuta (c) (Kabras Sugar RFC) 8. Stephen Sakari(Mwamba RFC) 9. Samuel Asati(KCB RC) 10. John Kubu(Kabras Sugar RFC) 11. Brian Tanga(Kabras Sugar RFC) 12. John Okoth(Top Fry Nakuru) 13. Vincent Onyala(KCB RC) 14. Jacob Ojee(KCB RC) 15. Darwin Mukidza(KCB RC)

Replacements: 16. Bonface Ochieng(Kenya Harlequins) 17. Andrew Siminyu(University of Jo’burg) 18. Melvin Thairu(Kenya Harlequins) 19. Bethwel Anami*(Strathmore Leos) 20. Fidel Oloo(Nondies RFC) 21. Barry Robinson(Kabras Sugar RFC) 22. Derrick Ashihundu*(Kabras Sugar RFC) 23. Andrew Matoka*(Strathmore Leos).

The Carling Champions Team 15. Sibongile Novuka (Vodacom Bulls) 14. Werner Kok (Cell C Sharks) 13. Chris Smit (Toyota Cheetahs) 12. Howard Mnisi (Toyota Cheetahs) 11. Stravino Jacobs (Vodacom Bulls) 10. Brandon Thomson (Toyota Cheetahs) 9. Keagan Johannes (Vodacom Bulls) 8. Arno Botha (Vodacom Bulls) 7. Phumzile Maqondwana (New Nation Pumas) 6. Nama Xaba (DHL Western Province) 5. Reniel Hugo (Cell C Sharks) 4. PJ Steenkamp (Sigma Lions) 3. Aranos Coetzee (Toyota Cheetahs) 2. Schalk Erasmus (Vodacom Bulls) 1. Simphiwe Matanzima (Vodacom Bulls)

Replacements: 16 Joe van Zyl (Vodacom Bulls) 17 Gerhard Steenekamp (Vodacom Bulls) 18 Mhleli Dlamini (Vodacom Bulls) 19 Reinhardt Ludwig (Vodacom Bulls) 20 Marcel Theunissen (DHL Western Province) 21 Paul de Wet (DHL Western Province) 22 George Whitehead (Tafel Lager Griquas) 23 Stedman Gans (Vodacom Bulls)

Non-playing reserves:
24 Ntuthuko Mchunu (Cell C Sharks) 25 Chad Solomon (DHL Western Province) 26 Leolin Zas (DHL Western Province) 27 Ginter Smuts (New Nation Pumas) 28 Tian Meyer (Toyota Cheetahs) 29 Ashlon Davids (Tafel Lager Griquas) 30 Marius Louw (Cell C Sharks)

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