Chituyi off the bench to rescue Kenya Simbas
Kenya beat Zimbabwe 45-36 for their second win of the Rugby Africa Gold Cup
PHOTO: Samson Onsomu against Zimbabwe in a Rugby Africa Gold Cup match in Nairobi
Dalmus Chituyi stepped off the bench to ground two late tries as Kenya Simbas picked up their second win of the Rugby Africa Gold Cup with a 45-36 win over Zimbabwe in Nairobi on Saturday evening.
The Zimbabwe Sables had come off into the second half with all guns blazing to take a 36-33 lead, but with five minutes left, the resilient Kenyans dotted two tries.
Skipper Davis Chenge had scored a first half hatrick to send the Simbas on their way with a 33-17 lead at half time, but several mistakes in the second half almost saw them relinquish the lead and dampen their chase for a ticket to the Rugby World Cup in Japan next year.
Chenge scored the first of his three within six minutes of the game powering over the try line from a Kenya maul. Mukidza booted home the extras as Kenya went 7-0 up. Zimbabwe recollected themselves and grabbed one try back through Tapfuma Parirenyatwa, but the conversion was wide scores being at 7-5.
But, the home side responded immediately, Chenge powered over the chalk for his second try of the game with Mukidza booting home the extras for a 14-5 scoreline. Skipper Chenge completed his hatrick and in superb fashion, picking up a short line out before going over.
From a tight angle, Mukidza registered his third conversion, Kenya going 21-5 up.
Kenya continued with the pressure and they were away with the third try of the game, Tony Onyango dotting down after patient build up.
The visitors reduced the deficit through skipper Denford Mutamangira who dotted down on the left after the Zimbabweans exploited the backline to find some space. The conversion was good, Sables going to 12 points against Kenya’s 26.
The Simbas were handed a huge advantage when Fortunate Chipendu was sent to the sinbin for a repeat offense and they took due advantage pushing and earning a penalty try.
Zimbabwe though finished the half with their third try of the game, pinning Kenya same way they did on their second try by patiently building up and finding space on the left. David Makanda dotted down after an offload from skipper Mutamangira. The conversion was wide, scores going to the break at 33-17.
In the second half, Zimbabwe came back breathing fire forcing Kenya into ball handling errors and winning balls off the rack with their huge frames.
Farai Mudariki dotted down Zimbabwe’s fourth try of the game once again the visitors exploiting the left channel to find space and dot down. They were handed an advantage when Peter Kilonzo was sent to the sin bin and were awarded a penalty try, squeezing the score to 33-29.
The left side which had been exploited the entire game gave the Zimbabweans the lead for the first time in the game, Mathew McNab racing away to dot down and the conversion sent in.
However, a never say die Simbas kept their heads high and sub Chituyi rolled over the line with four minutes left, putting the ball on the ground after Kenya pushed in from a scrum. He dotted down in similar fashion for what proved to be the final nail with Mukidza converting.