Kenya Qualify for World Rugby U-20 Trophy

Buoyant Kenya's Chipu beat champions Namibia 21-18 in the Under-20 Barthes Trophy Pool ‘A’ final at KCB Sports Club in Ruaraka, Nairobi on Sunday and seal their spot in the World Rugby U-20 Trophy.

Kenya finally turn the tables on Namibia after losing in the past four finals the two rivals have meet in dating back six years.

The 2019 World Rugby Under 20 Trophy is slated for July 9-21 in Sao Jose dos Campos, Brazil.

Chipu, whose only appearance at the world stage was in 2009 at their own turf, came from a penalty down to lead 10-6 at half time with unconverted tries from Brian Amaitsa and Beldad Peter Ogeta. Delron Brandt had given the Namibians a 6-0 lead inside the first seven minutes.

Before getting on the scoreboard, Kenya had been clamped in the own half for long periods with Namibia defending and attacking solidly. Amaitsa gave Kenya the breakthrough in the 16th minute after evading several tackles to score near the sticks.

Dominic Coulson missed the conversion. Man-of-the-match Andrew Matoka would hit the upright later on after Chipu got a penalty, with Namibia’s Brandt also kicking on the right a few minutes later, before Ogeta weaved through three players to put Kenya 10-6 up seconds before the halftime hooter sounded.

Namibia came back strongly in the second half again trying to cage Kenyans in their own half and their efforts were rewarded in the 54th minute as Shaun Van Wyk crossed the whitewash for 11-10 after Brandt’s conversion sailed wide.

Kenya would defend well Namibia's onslaught in its try line, before Amaitsa gave way for Samuel Were after getting injured. Kenya fell seven points behind as Brandt scored a try after Chipu was reduced to 13 men following the sin-bin of Emanuel Silungi and Were, but fought hard to level 18-18 with a pushover try from Captain Bonface Ochieng’ after getting a penalty and opting for a line-out.

The points that dealt Namibia the final blow came from Matoka in the 77th minute.

The final was preceded by a tough bronze medal match, which was a see-saw throughout the first half before Senegal floored Tunisia 28-16.

Tunisia was relegated and will switch places with Pool ‘B’ winners in 2020.

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