Dominant Kenya put a young Hong Kong side to the sword at RFUEA ground

By francis marangu
Aug 27, 2021
  • Darwin Mukidza who scored a try against Hong Kong has all the support in one of his dazzling runs which saw Kenya win 34-10. (Photo by Shutterspeed)

An all-dominant Kenya Simbas gave Hong Kong minimal breathing space in their 34-10 international test win at the RFUEA ground on Saturday.

Kenya dictated play in both halves as they made it two straight wins over their visitors who lost 18-24 to Kenya “A” on Tuesday.

The win is likely to be reflected in the new rankings because Hong Kong was ranked two places higher prior to kickoff.

After the match, Hong Kong head coach Leigh Jones appreciated the good work of his young side despite the loss. “Kenya was a well organized side and they took their chances. Our phases did not work out well but am happy with how we played.”

His captain Nick Hewson admitted they were unable to deal with pressure from the Kenyans which cost them heavily. “We made many mistakes and lacked composure on the ball.”

When the match started, Darwin Mukidza slotted a penalty in the second minute to settle Kenya's nerves. In the 12th minute, Mukidza converted a try by Joseph Kang’ethe for 10-0 lead. In the lead to the opening try, Kenya were patient with their phases as Edwin Achayo offloaded to Kang’ethe for the try.

Tony Onyango added a second try in the 23rd minute and Mukidza converted to stretch the lead 17-0. The try came when Kenya worked out their play from a lineout. Man-of-the-match Tonny Owuor made the break, passed the ball to Nato Simiyu who then picked out Onyango.

Mukidza added another penalty with five minutes to the break for a comfortable 20-0 lead. 

On the stroke of halftime, Matthew Roslee kicked over a penalty for Hong Kong as they trailed 3-20 at half time.

Simiyu completes Mukidza initiative

Barely six minutes after resumption, Nato Simiyu touched down for Kenya and Mukidza converted to stretch the lead 27-3. Simiyu's try came when Kenya won a scrumdown and Achayo sent the ball to Mukidza.

He beat the first tackle from Charles Higson-Smith and a second one from Hewson as he broke on the right wing. Mukidza then kicked under pressure with Simiyu chasing and touching down.

In the 55th minute, Mukidza pounced on a loose ball inside Kenya’s half to sprint unchallenged to the line. He added the extras to extend the lead 34-3.

Max Adaka was sent to the sin bin moments after coming on for Brian Nyikuli after an infringement. Hong Kong opted to kick for touch and a line out. They won the lineout and mauled persistently resulting in their only try scored by Hugo Stiles and converted by Roslee.

After the match, Kenya’s stand-in coach Labeeb Levy said they had done their homework right after studying Hong Kong’s style of play on Tuesday. “It was a tough match. The players stepped up after the hard work we put in training and they were mentally prepared.”

Captain Brian Nyikuli added; “The game was hard and we expected it after Hong Kong lost to Kenya “A”. They were always not going to be easy but we played out well in defense.”

In Namibia, Kenya under-19 team beat Tunisia 24-17 to finish third. The win ensures Kenya stays in the top tier for another year as the Africa Rugby season ended. Namibia beat Zimbabwe 42-29 in the final.

Kenya Simbas: 15. Tony Onyango, 14. Darwin Mukidza, 13. David Ambunya, 12. Nick Barasa, 11. Dennis Muhanji, 10. Nato Simiyu, 9. Edwin Achayo, 1.Joseph Kang’ethe, 2. Peter Karia, 3. James Kang’ethe, 4. Simon Muniafu, 5. Oliver Mang’eni, 6. Michael Okombe, 7. Tony Owuor, 8. Brian Nyikuli (captain); Replacements: 16. Sammy Warui, 17. Curtis Lilako, 18. Dennis Karani, 19. Dan Sikuta, 20. Max Adaka, 21. Samson Onsomu, 22. Isaac Adimo, 23. Cyprian Kuto.

Hong Kong: 15. Ed Rolston, 14. Jamie Robinson, 13. Matt Roslee, 12. Tyler Spitz, 11. Charles Higson-Smith, 10. Liam Owens, 9. Adam Rolston, 8. Dan Falvey, 7. Mathew Lamming, 6. Nick Hewson (captain), 5. Fin Field, 4. Adrian Griffiths, 3. Jack Parfitt, 2. Jamie Tsang, 1. Ben Higgins; Replacements: 16.Alex Post, 17. Alex NG Wai-shing, 18. Adam Fullgrabe, 19. Mike Parfitt, 20. Tony Wong, 21. Joey Cheung Ho-yin, 22. Charles Cheung Ho-ning, 23. Hugo Stiles.

Additional reporting by Eric Odanga