10 November 2017

Kenya: Simbas Fail to Roar Against Chile in Hong Kong

Nairobi — Tomas Ianiszewski was Kenya's chief destroyer as the full back bagged 18 points to aid Chile humble Kenya Simbas 23-3 in their opening Cup of Nations match in Hong Kong on Friday afternoon.

Ianiszewski booted in three penalties, dotted down once and converted twice as the Chileans exerted their authority over Kenya.

Darwin Mukidza's boot from a penalty was Kenya's sole score from the clash.

Chile took crisp command of the first 40 minutes, pushing the Simbas deep into their own half as they searched for the opener. For the first 15 minutes of the tie played on artificial turf, Kenya did not cross their own half line.

The Chileans won a set piece off Kenya close to 40m off the try box and they decided to go for the three points, but Ianiszewski's attempt was short.

The full back finally got a favorable opportunity minutes later, this time the Chileans winning a set play just above the 22m line and Ianiszewski made no mistake booting the ball between the sticks.

Immediately after going ahead, Chile almost sunk in their first try when Franco Velarde won the ball off the re-start, kicking and chasing but unfortunately the ball slipped off his hands just as he got into the try-box waiting to land in.

After dodging that bullet, the Simbas picked up their play and began to pour the numbers into the Chilean half attempting to get to level terms.

However, Mukidza who has been one of the best performers for the team in the just concluded season got the team back level.

From almost 40-yards off, the prolific kicker sent the ball between the sticks after Kenya won a foul, taking the scores to 3-3.

The Simbas were better especially from the line outs where they played the ball out smoothly, but couldn't get the better of the possession in the final third of attack.

But Chile got back into the lead benefiting from a mistake from the Kenyans losing possession easily then on the turn fouling from good scoring range, an opportunity which Ianiszewski took with both arms booting the ball home.

-Second half-

In the second half, Ianiszewski had another attempt with a penalty from the left, but he struck low to see the ball come off the upright.

But minutes later, Chile were flying 13-3 ahead. Ianiszewski sunk in the first try of the game after sneaking in between the Kenyan back-line to land in a cheeky kick from Santiago Vidella, five metres from the try line.

The South Americans almost added their second try of the game but it took some good defending from Jacob Ojee and George Nyambua to take Jose Tomas Munita into touch when he was a metre off the try line.

But the Simbas found themselves trailing further when the backline was caught napping, Benjamin Boto scratching the ball quick from a set-piece before forcing his way into the try box.

Ianiszewski sunk the final nail into Kenya's coffin in the final 10 minutes of the game from his third penalty of the game after Darwin Mukidza was penalized for failing to release the ball.

The battered Simbas who are ranked higher than Chile on the World Rugby standings will now hope to redeem themselves on Tuesday when they take on Russia in their second match of the tournament.

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