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Kenya Lionesses in fine start to World Cup qualifiers

Friday August 9 2019

Kenya's Sheilla Chajira cuts through the Papua New Guinea defence on day one of the World Rugby Women's Sevens Series Qualifier in Hong Kong on April 4, 2019. PHOTO | WORLD RUGBY |

Kenya's Sheilla Chajira cuts through the Papua New Guinea defence on day one of the World Rugby Women's Sevens Series Qualifier in Hong Kong on April 4, 2019. PHOTO | WORLD RUGBY |  

AYUMBA AYODI
By AYUMBA AYODI
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Kenya Lionesses roared to a good start at the Africa qualifiers for the 2021 Women’s Rugby World Cup, crushing Madagascar 35-5 on Friday at Bosman Stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa.

The Lionesses, who led 17-5 at the break scored six tries, a conversion and penalty to triumph against Madagascar who managed a try.

Centre Celestine Masinde touched down a brace of tries while skipper and centre Philadelphia Olando, fullback Janet Okello, winger Diana Owino and winger Christabel Lindo managed a try each for the Lionesses.

Scrum-half Irene Otieno managed a conversion, while fullback Janet Okello slotted over a penalty for Kenya’s extras.

South Africa thumped Uganda 89-5 in the other match played at the same venue.

South Africa, Kenya, Madagascar and Uganda will play each other in a round-robin league, with the winner qualifying for the World Cup planned for New Zealand.

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Kenya will in their next duel play Uganda, while Madagascar come up against hosts South Africa on Tuesday next week at Bosman Stadium.

Madagascar will take on Uganda and South Africa meet Kenya in the fixtures that will conclude the competition on August 17.

The team that comes second will face a side from South America, with the winner going into the 2020 Repechage qualifying tournament.

Besides Africa, other regional qualifying tournaments will be held in Oceania, Europe, Asia and South America, before a final Repechage that will take place in 2020.

The top seven teams from the 2017 Rugby World Cup - champions and 2021 hosts New Zealand, England, United States, France, Canada, Australia and Wales - have already secured automatic qualification.

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