Kenya Lionesses coach points out reasons behind South Africa thrashing

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RUGBY Kenya Lionesses coach points out reasons behind South Africa thrashing

Joel Omotto 10:36 - 25.05.2023

Dennis Mwanja has explained what made the difference between Kenya and South Africa following the huge loss in the Rugby Africa Women’s Cup.

Kenya Lionesses head coach Dennis Mwanja has blamed his side’s lack of exposure for the team’s 48-0 thrashing at the hands of South Africa in the Rugby Africa Women’s Cup in Madagascar on Wednesday.

Lionesses were put to the sword by the highly-fancied South Africans who raced to a 34-0 lead at the break at the Stade Makis in Antananarivo, before piling on more misery in the second half, for the huge win that leaves them close to securing the title.

While picking up some positives from the mauling, Mwanja admitted they were beaten by a far better team, who have benefited from featuring in high-level build-up matches, unlike his side who still lack the know-how.

“We gave away easy tries in that first half, the experience of South Africa going to the World Cup and the European tour made it clear that they have been at a different level than us,” Mwanja said in Antananarivo, as per KRU Media.

“We believe build-up matches would have made a difference for us. We have really learned a lot in that game and there is no shortcut to experience.

“Our scrum downs were strong, we were not being pushed over so easily. Our lineouts were also good. We were tactical in avoiding their mauls and also exposed their handling in the scrum down. So generally, the forwards gave a good account of themselves and we can count it as a positive as we move forward.”

The South Africans scored eight tries through Zintle Mpupha (two), Nomawethu Mabenge (four), Sizophila Solontsi, Chumisa Qawe while Libbie Janse van Rensburg managed four conversions.

Kenya have found it difficult against South Africa in recent meetings, having lost 66-0 in a test match in August 2021 in Stellenbosch, before scoring a last-gasp try to claim the second game 29-22.

Lionesses had started their campaign with a 29-20 win over Madagascar last Saturday while South Africa hammered Cameroon 87-0 in their opener.

Mwanja’s charges will now shift their attention to Sunday’s clash against Cameroon, who lost their second straight game, a 30-10 defeat to hosts Madagascar, in Wednesday’s other fixture.

The Lionesses will be gunning for victory while hoping Madagascar lose on Sunday to secure second place which will see them qualify for the WXV third-tier competition set for October.