Russia beat Kenya to stay on course of retaining trophy

By sportsnewsarena correspondent
Nov 14, 2017
  • Kenya lost their second match to Russia and play against Hong Kong on Saturday. (Photo Courtesy KRU)

Strong and powerful running coupled with good tactical kicking by Russia saw them beat Kenya 31-10 to edge closer to retaining the Regal Hotel Four Nation title.

In this match, Russia who made nine changes to the side that beat hosts Hong Kong in the opening match played at pace mixing their approach by either spreading the ball t their strong running backs or consolidating upfront.

Fly-half, Ramil Gaisin often kicked Kenya back in their territory by finding gaps and either chipping over the advancing backs or kicking a grubber with accuracy where  there wwas no cover defense.

Kenya who had eight changes to the side that was beaten by Chile in the opening match played with more composure and showed urgency. Defensively, Kenya soaked pressure from Russia.

Lapses in concentration and handling errors presented Russia with a chance to run against their opponents who stepped off the gas pedal momentarily towards the end of the first half and mid second half which enabled Russia to score.

The match started on a frantic pace with Russia quickly showing their slick handling skills and depth in attack. For two minutes, they retained posession from the kick off until the breakdown and a scrum which Kenya won.

It was Kenya who opened the scores when Darwin Mukidza kicked over a penalty infront of the sticks after Russia forwards were caught offside.

Russia replied with vengeance

The Russians replied with vengeance. Wilson K'Opondo, the Kenya captain was penalized for a high tackle in the ninth minute and Russia opted for territorry kicking for touch inside the Kenya 22.

They lost the line out which was not straight and from the scrum, Biko Adema kicked for touch relieving pressure.

Joshua Chisanga limped off from a phyical ruck in the 16th minute and was replaced by Elkeans Musonye.

Intense pressure by Russia saw them camp in Kenya's 22 where they forced two scrumdowns. But, kenya broke off from their line from a good combination by Lyle Asiligwa and full-back Vincent Mose.

But, the Russians kept coming and in the 25th minute, they were awarded a penalty. They opted for a line out again but this time Asiligwa relieved the pressure.

Winger Evgeny Nepeivoda sevens scored the first try in the 27th minute from a chip by Gaisin who converted for a 7-3 lead.

Four minutes later, German Daydov who also plays for the sevens team added the second try after Russia attacked from a spilt ball by Kenya. He scored his second just before the break and Gaisin converter for a 19-3 leat at halftime.

In the second half, Nato Simiyu replaced Biko Adema at flyhalf in the 43rd minute after a close shave which saw the ball slip off Davydov's hands after a storming run through the Kenya defense in which he eluded five players.

Clearance for touch fell short

When Simiyu's clearance for touch fell short in the 45th minute, the Russians came back again and scored a try to stretch the lead 26-3.

In the 49th minute, Alex Olaba broke through and offloaded to Simiyu who danced to the line. Mukidza converted as Russia led 26-10.

This only added more sting to Russia who replied with a try by Dimitry Ryabov in  the 59th minute. 

The momentum turned towards Kenya ranks who came close twice when Mose broke the Russian defense line but his pass to Olaba was spilled.

Then in the 62nd minute, Moses Amusala appeared to have grounded the ball but the referee adjudged it was held up.

Kenya again came close in the 70th minute when a grubber by Simiyu was spilled.

On Saturday, Kenya plays hosts Hong Kong.