Kenya: Madagascar Shock Short-Handed Kenya Lionesses at Nyayo

Kenya Lionesses suffered a 27-15 loss at the hands of Madagascar on Saturday in their test rugby 15-a-side match at Nyayo National Stadium on Saturday.

The Lionesses, who were without their Kenya Sevens stars, struggled to settle in the match as the Islanders avenged the 35-5 beating they received in 2019 Africa Women's Cup cum 2021 Rugby World Cup qualifiers in South Africa.

Veronique Rasoanekena and Claudia Rasoaharimalala were the main architects of Kenya's downfall at Nyayo.

Dorcas Sinaida, Stacy Atieno and Michelle Akinyi scored unconverted tries each for Kenya.

Rasoanekena touched down a brace of tries while Sophie Razaftirisoa and Falasoa Tantely scores a try apiece.  Tantely also kicked in a penalty and two conversions in their historic win.

While unveiling his final 23 players, Kenya coach Mitch Ocholla had said the new-look Lionesses have a perfect opportunity to showcase themselves to the world.

"Saturday's game is a new chapter in women's rugby in Kenya as it marks the first time the fifteens squad is in action without the sevens players who have been a vital cog of the team," he said.

From the first encounter for the national fifteens side in nearly two years, it is clear a lot of work needs to be done.

The likes of Philadelphia Olando and speedster Janet Okelo who were pivotal in the huge victory two years ago, were missed on Saturday.

The two sides meet again on on July 11 in the second and final test match at the 30,000-seater stadium.

The Kenya Lionesses sevens side, handled by Felix Oloo, is in a "bubble" with Team Kenya preparing for Tokyo Olympics slated for July 23 to August 8.

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