Kenya and Zim stand tall
Sat, 28 Jun 2014 19:12
All the scorers and scorers
Kenya upset Namibia and Zimbabwe walloped hosts Madagascar on Saturday as the struggle to represent Africa at the 2015 World Cup began.
A try by Andrew Amonde midway through the second half earned Kenya a come-from-behind 29-22 victory over Namibia, who represented the continent at the past four editions of the quadrennial 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 35,000 crowd at Stade Mahamasina.
Each country plays its three opponents once with the mini-league winners joining title-holders New Zealand, Argentina, Tonga and Georgia in Pool C.
The runners-up visit Siberia for a repechage semifinal 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 and 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.
Scorers and scorers:
Kenya 29 Namibia 22
Tries: Humphrey Kayange, Michael Okombe, Edwin Achayo, Andrew Amonde.
Cons: Lavin Asego 3
Tries: Heinrich Smit 2, Chrysander Botha
Cons: Theuns Kotze 2
Madagascar 22 Zimbabwe 57
Tries: Alain Rakotonirina, Jose Rakoto Harison, Herizo Rasoanaivo
Cons: Rasoanaivo, Rakoto Harison
Tries: Lambert Groenewald, Jacques Leitao 4, Riaan O'Neill, Stephan Hunduza, Tafadzwa Chitokwindo
Cons: Guy Cronje 6, Lanience Tambwera
Standings (played, won, drawn, lost, points scored, points conceded, bonus points, total)
Zimbabwe 1 1 0 0 57 22 1 5
Kenya 1 1 0 0 29 22 1 5
Namibia 1 0 0 1 22 29 1 1
Madagascar 1 0 0 1 22 57 0 0
Point allocation - four for a win, two for a draw, one for losing by seven or fewer points, one for scoring four or more tries in a game
Remaining fixtures (all at Stade Mahamasina, all times GMT)
July 2: Namibia v Zimbabwe 10.00, Kenya v Madagascar 12.00
July 6: Kenya v Zimbabwe 10.00, Madagascar v Namibia 12.00
* Note: Mini-league winners qualify for World Cup and runners-up play Russia away in a repechage semifinal
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