ESPN SCRUM

/ News

World Cup Qualifiers
Kenya and Zimbabwe make winning starts
June 29, 2014
Action from the qualifier between Namibia and Kenya, Antananarive, June 29, 2014
Action from the qualifier between Namibia and Kenya © Getty Images
Enlarge
Related Links
Tournaments/Tours: 2015 Rugby World Cup Qualifier

Kenya upset Namibia and Zimbabwe walloped hosts Madagascar as the struggle to represent Africa at the 2015 Rugby World Cup began on Saturday.

A try by Andrew Amonde midway through the second half saw Kenya come from behind to earn a 29-22 victory over Namibia, who represented the continent at the past four editions of the tournament.

Loose-forward Jacques Leitao snatched four tries as Zimbabwe turned a seven-point half-time advantage into a 57-22 triumph over Madagascar before a crowd of 35,000 at the Stade Mahamasina.

Each country plays its three opponents once with the mini-league winners joining reigning champions New Zealand, Argentina, Tonga and Georgia in Pool C. The runners-up visit Siberia for a repechage semi-final against Russia and the victors tackle Uruguay or Hong Kong for a Pool A slot beside England, Australia, Wales and Fiji.

Pre-tournament favourites Namibia started impressively with two Heinrich Smit tries inside 12 minutes, while Kenya did not score until the final minute of the half when Humphrey Kayange touched down. But further tries from Michael Okombe and Edwin Achayo lifted the Kenyan Lions into a 19-12 lead six minutes into the second half.

Theuns Kotze converted a Chrysander Botha try and kicked a penalty to give Namibia the advantage again only for Kenya to score twice within five minutes. Lavin Asego potted a penalty and converted the Amonde try to raise hopes of a first Kenyan appearance at the World Cup.

A much heavier Zimbabwe pack helped build an early 22-point lead before Madagascar scored two tries and narrowed the deficit to 22-15 at the break. But the second half belonged to the visitors, who crossed the try-line five times and boosted their chances of returning to the rugby union showpiece after a 24-year absence.

Namibia play Zimbabwe and Madagascar meet Kenya on Wednesday in the second series of matches.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Live Sports

Communication error please reload the page.

  • Rugby

    Crusaders prefer Nelson to Suva for Hurricanes game

    The Crusaders will host the Hurricanes in Nelson on May 29, as they are unable to stage the game at AMI Stadium in Christchurch because of FIFA Under-20 World Cup commitments

  • Rugby

    Kilted Kiwi Hugh Blake pleads case for Scotland

    Hugh Blake urges fans to let him prove his worth after the furore over his call-up into Scotland's Six Nations squad just one month after arriving from his native New Zealand

  • Football

    Sissoko open to PSG switch

    Newcastle United midfielder Moussa Sissoko has said a move to Paris Saint-Germain would be "difficult things to refuse," but insisted that he wants to stay at St James' Park

  • Rugby

    Chiefs re-sign coach Rennie through 2017

    Two-time Super Rugby winning coach Dave Rennie has added two more years to his contract with the Chiefs and will lead them until the 2017 season

  • Golf

    Woods all smiles as he explains tooth incident

    Tiger Woods laughed often and smiled easily during a nine-hole practice round early on Tuesday morning. Then he explained how he made worldwide headlines a week ago for a missing tooth

Sponsored Links
Make $170 in 60 seconds!
Google Vs Facebook, 60 sec. knock out! Choose a champion, Become a Winner!
Make $25 in 1 Minute!
Start trading with the biggest broker! Register now to receive $25 for FREE!