Zimbabwe Beat Kenya To Cement Victoria Cup

Jul 24, 2011

The first ever rugby test match played at Nairobi’s Nyayo National Stadium pitting hosts Kenya against Zimbabwe ended in a 26-21 victory for the visitors on Saturday.

It was Kenya who went ahead early on in this Victoria Cup fixture, Peter Abuoga’s penalty attempt sailing between the sticks for a 3-0 lead. The lead was cancelled by Zimbabwe center Lloyd Machanjaire who scored a try at the corner. Tichafara Makwanya missed the conversion as the Sables led 5-3.

Kenya retained possession from the restart, fly half Isaac Adimo, making his full test debut, beat the on rushing Zimbabwean cover defense with a change of direction before offloading the ball to eighth man Lawrence Buyachi who burst into space, beating two feeble tackles en route to touching down. Abuoga’s conversion gave Kenya a two point advantage with the scores at 10-5 in their favor. They continued attacking but were repulsed by Makwanya’s boot, the Zimbabwean fly half getting his side out of jail with a massive kick for touch.

The Sables won possession from the line, attacked Kenya in phases and were rewarded when winger Gardner Nechironga touched down with Makwanya converting to put Zimbabwe 12-10 ahead. Kenya lost scrum half Peter Mutai to ankle injury just as series top try scorer Nechironga touched down, scoring his seventh try of the Victoria Cup as the Sables went into the interval holding a 17-10 lead.

On the restart, Abuoga slotted his second penalty to cut Zimbabwe’s lead to just four points with the scoreboard reading 17-13. Makwanya and Abuoga then traded penalties, taking the score to 20-16. The Zimbabwean fly half added two penalties either side of a Vincent Ongera try for Kenya as the match ended 26-21 in the visitors’ favor.

The win in Nairobi saw Zimbabwe complete the grand slam, beating Kenya and Uganda home and away to be crowned the 2011 Victoria Cup champions.

Meanwhile, the Kenya U-19s got off to a winning start, beating Zambia's U-19s 22-12 in the Group B fixture at the CAR Under 19 championships in Harare, Zimbabwe.