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Japan hit Chipu in World Rugby Under-20 Trophy

Thursday July 18 2019

Kenya's Dominic Coulson kicks the ball forward as Chipu launch attack during their 2019 World Rugby Under-20 Trophy Group A match against Japan. Chipu lost the match 48-34. PHOTO | WORLD RUGBY |

Kenya's Dominic Coulson kicks the ball forward as Chipu launch attack during their 2019 World Rugby Under-20 Trophy Group A match against Japan. Chipu lost the match 48-34. PHOTO | WORLD RUGBY |  

GEOFFREY ANENE
By GEOFFREY ANENE
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Kenya's Chipu put up a brilliant fight before going down 48-34 to Japan in their last Pool "A" match at the 2019 World Rugby Under-20 Trophy in Sao Paulo, Brazil on Thursday.

Compared to Japan, who have won this second-tier event twice before, little was expected from the African champions who are making their second appearance after finishing fourth when they hosted the same event when it was for Under-19s in 2009.

After trailing 19-3, Paul Odera's charges upped their game to cut the deficit to two points at 31-29 early in the second half. They then responded brilliantly again after Japan went nine points clear at 38-29 before two late tries from the Asians put them to the sword.

Kenya trailed 19-3 after Japan scored three tries, one of them converted, as they threatened to run over Kenya. But a try from Hibrahim Ayoo brought scores at 19-8. The Japanese went into the break enjoying a gap of 16 points after two tries one which was successfully converted with Kenya managing a converted try from Timothy Okwemba.

If Brazil fail to beat Uruguay, Odera's charges will meet Canada in the 5/6th playoff. The Canadians were ruthless in their final Pool "B" fixture as they destroyed Hong Kong 78-26 after leading the Asians 38-14 at the breather.

Portugal won Pool "B" after outmuscling Oceania side Tonga 40-3 in a top-of-the-table clash. The Portuguese will meet Japan for a place in the 2020 top-tier competition, World Rugby Under-20 Championship.

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The World U20 Trophy winners will replace Scotland in the top-tier. Scotland were relegated a few weeks ago. Tonga will meet Uruguay in the bronze medal match - if Brazil doesn't cause an upset.

Uruguay will finish Pool "A" in second spot if they beat or draw against Brazil. Hong Kong and hosts Brazil will contest for 7/8 place if Brazil finish last in their pool.

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