Kenya makes it to semi-finals - Daily Nation

Kenya makes it to semi-finals

Sunday September 21 2008

National women rugby Sevens’ Doreen Remour

National women rugby Sevens’ Doreen Remour (right) tackles teammate Mary Musieka (with ball) during a training session for Africa Zone of the 2009 rugby World Cup qualifiers. Photo/CHRIS OMOLLO  

By THE PUNTER

Kenya made heavy weather of the match against Zambia but reached the semi-final of the Africa Zone of the 2009 Rugby World Cup qualifiers at Kampala’s Kyadondo RFC ground on Saturday.

Celestine Masinde scored the winning try with only seconds remaining on the dial after a good movement by the backs.

At half time, Kenya trailed 10-12. Irene Awino scored the first try for Kenya after a good run by Nereah Awino to narrow the gap 5-7 after Zambia’s Agness Mutambalika had opened the scores and Carol Mpululuka converted.

Masinde outpaced the Zambians to the line for the lead to exchange hands 10-7 for Kenya but Mutambalika went over for her second to restore Zambia’s lead.

Decisive try

In the second half, Awino went over for her second try but Mary Mbewe replied for Zambia before Masinde scored the decisive try.

In the second match against Uganda A, Doreen Remour, Masinde and Awino scored one try each. Remour kicked over one conversion.

The decisive match against South Africa saw Kenya put up a good fight and trailed 0-17 at half time. Anita Omondi scored the only try from a quickly taken penalty as South Africa won 34-5.

Coach Sammy Kemmey explained that the players were too tense for the first match. “We played Zambia’s game,” he admitted. Kenya was much more composed against Uganda A and made costly errors against South Africa.

After the Pool matches, the teams were seeded again. Initially, Tunisia were named as the top seeds because of a better points’ aggregate after tying on 12 points with South Africa.

Drama unfolded when at a manager’s meeting, South Africa assumed the mantle after the organizers decided to use a better try count.

IRB regulations

South Africa had 18 tries and Tunisia 17. Kenya appealed because according to IRB regulations, the points’ difference was supposed to have been used.

At the centre of the drama was a chance to qualify for the inaugural women’s Rugby World Cup qualifiers.

Hosts Uganda were supposed to have played South Africa in the semi-final while Kenya was drawn against Tunisia. With the change, it meant Kenya faced South Africa and Uganda fancied their chances against Tunisia.

Day one results

Pool A: South Africa 43 Uganda A 0, Kenya 20 Zambia 19, South Africa 31 Zambia 0, Kenya 17 Uganda A 0, Uganda A 0 Zambia 33, South Africa 34 Kenya 5.

Pool B: Uganda 30 Zimbabwe 0, Tunisia 45 Botswana 0, Uganda 48 Botswana 0, Tunisia 54 Zimbabwe 0, Zimbabwe 24 Botswana 0, Uganda 5 Tunisia 12.

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