NAIROBI, (Xinhua) --
The curtains will fall on the Rugby Africa Gold
Cup competition on Saturday with Kenya locking horns with
champions Namibia away in Windhoek.
Kenya 15s Team
manager Wangila Simiyu says Kenya faces a litmus test to turn
around their past poor showing against their host if they are to
secure automatic qualification to the 2019 World Cup in Japan.
Kenya has not lost a
match in their last five encounters and so is Namibia. However,
Namibia has secured its win with bonus point and leads the group
with 20 points while Kenya has 17 having only had one bonus
point against Tunisia.
The winner of the
Gold Cup clash will secure automatic tickets to Japan next year
while the runner’s up will have to play in the World Rugby
Repechage competition in Marseille in Nov against Chinese Hong
Kong, Canada and Germany for the final slot to Japan.
“Kenya must beat
Namibia with a high score to secure automatic qualification. It
is a hard task if you look at previous three encounters, Kenya
has had with Namibia losing all. But there will be no advantage
over records and the game will be open to either side,” Simiyu
said on Tuesday in Nairobi.
Kenya has failed to
beat the African champions in Windhoek in the past three
encounters, losing 46-12 in 2015, 56-21 (2016) and 45-7 last
But the technical
bench of the Kenya team is buoyant over their prospects and
believes past record will not hold back Kenyans from crushing
their host and clinching the ticket to Japan.
Head coach Ian Snook
has promised to work on the technical errors his team made in
their clash against Tunisia and believes they will be in their
optimal form when they face off on Saturday.
“I have watched
videos of past clash and it is down to just poor defense. We
gave away four very soft tries last year and this is something
we are rectifying and hopefully, we will not see a repeat,” said
“We had too many
ball handling errors which prevented us from scoring more tries
and this is one area of play we have to improve on because, if
we don’t, Namibia will exploit that weakness,” he added.
The Kenya team will
have no rest and will depart Wednesday for Windhoek.
Coach Snook has
recalled Nick Barasa to the squad after shaking off knee and
ankle injuries that had limited his participation in the
“He brings on board
experience and speed. He has been a key player for us but he
must fight his way into the starting 15 and hopefully he will
impress,” said the coach.