Women’s rugby team knocked out of qualifiers - Daily Nation

Women’s rugby team knocked out of qualifiers

Monday September 22 2008



An organisational hiccup may have cost Kenya a place in the inaugural 2009 Women’s Rugby World Cup in Dubai next year.

Kenya finished second in a tough Pool A of the Africa Zone of the 2009 Women’s Rugby World Cup qualifiers at Kampala’s Kyadondo RFC grounds on Saturday.

They went to sleep knowing it was Tunisia on the cards the following day according to the tournament rules.

On Sunday, the story had changed and Kenya was drawn against the eventual winners South Africa.

This was after the organisers decided to seed the teams again after the Pool stage. Tunisia and South Africa each had 12 points while Uganda and Kenya had nine each.

Point aggregate

To break the tie, the organisers who had initially ranked Tunisia ahead of South Africa because the North Africans had a better points aggregate – which is the correct way of breaking a tie according to IRB Sevens Rules – decided to break the tie according to the number of tries scored. Tunisia scored 17 and South Africa 18.

Kenyan officials appealed after consulting with Kenya Rugby Football Union officials in Uganda and back at home.

The team manager Josephine Were delivered an appeal to the tournament officials stating the anomaly. “We cannot keep changing what has been decided,” was the answer.

In the semi-final against South Africa, Kenya exerted pressure from the whistle. Nereah Awino’s try in the second minute was denied by the referee. But, team captain Celestine Masinde then barged over to rattle the South Africans.


With their backs against the wall, South Africa finally weaved their way out of their half and Nadine Bernard struck back to level the scores 5-5.

Natasha Hofmeester was next over to break the deadlock and Yolanda Meiring converted for the lead to change hands 12-5 in favour of the South Africans.

Dubai tournament

In the second half, Nomothamsanqa Faleni and Hofmeester added one try each with Meiring slotting both for a 28-5 win. The win saw South Africa book a place for the Dubai tournament.

Uganda beat Tunisia 7-0 in the second semi-final to book the second slot and a final against South Africa. The South Africans beat Uganda 24-0 in the main cup final.

The coach, Sammy Kemmey had issues with the pooling after the opening day. “We were shocked that were ‘country’ and not IRB rules were being used to determine the top seeds after the first matches. If this was not done, Kenya had a chance and infact we feel like we qualified,” he said

One pertinent question on the coaches’ mind was why the organizers changed the rules overnight. “Why did they re-think of the pooling overnight? What other variations could they have used? We should have been guided by IRB Rules,” Kemmey added.

Kenya appealed in writing to the tournament organizers but did not get any feedback. But, on a happy note, South Africa recognized Kenya’s potential and are interested in inviting Kenya for a training camp.