NAIROBI, Kenya, June 4 – Darwin Mukidza displayed a man of the match performance to inspire hosts Kenya Simbas to a 51-35 victory over defending champions Leopards of South Africa as the Curry Cup Division 1 made its debut in Kenya on Saturday.
Mukidza, who turns out for KCB Rugby Club, booted in two penalties and grounded a try to add on the several conversions he scored.
In total, Simbas went over the whitewash seven times to make their intention of qualifying for the first Rugby World Cup in 2023 well known as they prepare for the Africa qualifiers that start in July.
Kenya head coach Paul Odera is using the Curry Cup tournament as a training ground ahead of their first match of the qualifiers where neighbors Uganda awaits in the quarter finals July 2.
If Kenya advances past Uganda, Senegal or Algeria awaits while the other quarter final pairings sees Burkina Faso play Namibia, while Zimbabwe faces Ivory Coast.
An oiled Kenyan side dominated the first half that they lead 25-14 thanks to Mukidza’s early penalties and a converted try to add on Derrick Ashiundu as well as Dominic Coulson tries.
In the second half, Simbas started on a high, with Vincent Onyala opening the scoring few minutes after restart before Beldad Ogeta and Eugene Sifuna added more.
Kenya will play Eastern Province Elephants next Saturday at the same venue.