Simbas plot to tweak game ahead of must-win Zambia duel – The Star, Kenya

After falling to Senegal in the opening match, Simbas will be forced to make tactical tweaks for their must-win 2023 Rugby World Cup qualifier against Zambia on Sunday.

The Simbas put their qualification hopes into jeopardy on Saturday after losing 20-19 to Senegal at Nyayo Stadium.

Speaking after the match, head coach Paul Odera said the upcoming match against Zambia will be final for his charges.

“It’s a must-win game for us following the defeat to Senegal. There are certain areas we need to improve in our training sessions and I am confident the boys will take lessons from the defeat. If we lose the game against Zambia, our World Cup dream will be over, ” added Odera. 

The coach admitted that the line-out is an area of concern after the visitors pinched a couple of throws. “We will have to look at the line-out this week in training. It’s a key facet of the game which can be used as a platform for attack and defence,” he said.

Fijian-born Jone Kubu, who was making his debut for the Simbas, scored 14 points including three penalties,  a drop goal and a conversion with winger Darwin Mukidza scoring a try.

The West Africans scored two tries two conversions and two penalties to stun the home side with the match tied at 13-13 at the interval.

To add salt to injury, Kenya were down to 13 players with Kubu injured and forward Davis Chenge sent to the sin-bin when Senegal scored their match-winning try in the last minute of the pulsating encounter.

Skipper Samson Onsomu rued missed chances in the encounter. “We had our chances and we did not take them. However, our focus turns to the Zambia game, where we must be sharper and utilise our chances,” said Onsomu. Zambia will face Senegal on Wednesday at the same venue .

The top two teams in each pool will advance to the final round of qualifiers slated for next year. In other result,  Ivory Coast stunned Namibia 24-13.

Elsewhere, Impala beat Menengai Oilers 21-17 in a rescheduled Kenya Cup encounter in Nakuru. The Sarries moved to the seventh on the log with seven points while the hosts moved to second after earning a losing bonus point.

Nesta Okoth and Billy Arigi went over for Impala with the rest of the points coming from Martin Juma with two conversions and two penalties. 

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