Kenya Lionesses and South Africa on course for final

By sportsnewsarena correspondent
Sep 17, 2017
  • Janet Okello, one of the top try scorers in the opening round will be crucial in the semis against South Africa. (SNA. File Photo)

Kenya and South Africa, the top seeds in the Rugby Africa Rugby World Cup Sevens stayed on course for a possible final after finishing unbeaten on the first day of the qualifiers in Monastir, Tunisia.

According to the draw, Kenya must beat bottom-placed Morocco in the quarter finals to face the winner between Madagascar and Zimbabwe - two sides which they beat on their way to topping the eight-team tournament - in the semis. Madagascar beat Zimbabwe at the Pool B stage.

South Africa must also beat Senegal to reach the semis and play against the winner between Tunisia and Uganda. These are also the teams they played in Pool A.

By reaching the final, Kenya and South Africa will book a ticket to the Commonwealth Games in Australia next year. An incentive of winning a final is a ticket to the Rugby World Cup Sevens next year in San Francisco, USA and the Commonwealth Games in Australia.

The winner of the tournament qualifies for the RWC Sevens and the runner up - if a member of the Commonwealth - for the Commonwealth Games. 

Kenya Lionesses booked a date with Morocco in the quarter finals - which are being played for the first time - after finishing top of the eight-team competition. At the end of the day, the teams were ranked according to their performance at the Pool stage.

Kenya 38 Senegal 0

After a nervy start against Madagascar who eventually finished third, Kenya Lionesses showed true colors by beating Senegal 38-0. Jamet Okello scored three tries, Rachel Mbogo a brace and Celestine Masinde one.

Kenya 47 Zimbabwe 0

The momentum from the first two matches saw Kenya blank Zimbabwe 47-0 in their last Pool B match. 

Kenya 27 Madagascar 5

Janet Okello scored two unconverted tries as Kenya Lionesses struggled to beat a gritty Madagascar side 27-5 in the Rugby Afrique women's Rugby World Cup 7's qualifier in Monastir, Tunisia.

Kenya Lionesses led 12-0 at half time. In this half, they barely managed to keep the fluid passes although Okello scored the first try with a searing run barely a minute after the kick off.

Lapses in concentration and handling errors because of pressure from Madagascar stagnated the scores before Okello went over for her second. 

In the second half, Gina Raharimalala scored from a good run before Sinaida Aura raced on the outside to score the third try. 

Celestine Masinde scored at the corner before debutant Grace Adhiambo initiated a try for Stacy Awuor.

The talking point of the match was lack of composure by the Kenyans which played into the hands of Madagascar.

They had a chance to watch their next opponents Senegal who lost to Zimbabwe 5-15.

Uganda rallied back strongky in the second half but narrowly lost to hosts Tunisia 10-15. Grace Auma almost drew level for Uganda with the last run of play but stepped on the touchline. 

Pool A: South Africa Uganda, Tunisia, Morocco.

Pool B: Kenya, Zimbabwe, Senegal, Madagascar

Order of play, September 16: South Africa 45 Morocco 0, Uganda 10 Tunisia 15, Kenya 27 Madagascar 5, Zimbabwe 15 Senegal 5, South Africa 17 Tunisia 7, Uganda 29 Morocco 0, Kenya 38 Senegal 0, Zimbabwe 17 Madagascar 28, South Africa 25 Uganda 0, Tunisia 33 Morocco 0, Kenya 47 Zimbabwe 0, Senegal 0 Madagascar 36.

1. Kenya, 2. South Africa, 3. Madagascar, 4. Tunisia, 5. Uganda, 6. Zimbabwe, 7. Senegal, 8. Morocco 

Day two, September 17

Match 13: 1 v 8 Kenya v Morocco (10.30); Match 14: 2 v 7 South Africa v Senegal (10.52); Match 15: 3 v 6 Madagascar v Zimbabwe (11.14); Match 16: 4 v 5 Tunisia v Uganda (11.36).

Ranking matches

Match 17: Loser M13 v Loser Match 14 (12.28).

Match 18: Loser Match 15 v Loser Match 16 (12.50).

Cup semis

Match 19: Winner M13 v Winner Match 15 (1.12).

Match 20: Winner Match 14 v Winner Match 16 (1.34).

Match 21: 7/8 Loser Match 17 v Loser Match 18 (2.16).

Match 22: 5/6 Winner Match 17 v Winner Match 18 (2.38).

Match 23: 3/4 Loser Match 19 v Loser Match 20 (3 p.m.).

Match 24: Final Winner Match 19 v Winner Match 20 (3.22). 

Compiled by Eric Odanga