Kenya were unable to bounce back from their opening loss to Rhinos as Eastern Province Elephants left them facing the prospect of leaving South Africa empty-handed
Kenya Simbas are starring at three defeats in as many matches after losing their second straight Currie Cup First Division tie following a 18-7 reverse to Eastern Province Elephants in the in Port Alfred, South Africa on Saturday.
Simbas won one match in South Africa in 2022 but appear ill-prepared to repeat the feat at this year’s tournament dubbed Mzansi Challenge following Saturday’s defeat against a team they thrashed 41-24 in Nairobi.
Their desire to bounce back from a 32-22 loss to San Clemente Rhinos in their opener went up in smoke as the hosts took a slender 10-7 lead at the break, courtesy of a converted try and penalty.
Hillary Mwanjilwa touched down for Kenya after being set up by Joel Inzuga before South African-born Ntabeni Dukisa converted.
The Simbas were unable to get further points after the break with the home side adding three more from the spot, before a late try off a maul saw them secure the 18-7 win.
Jerome Paarwater’s charges were second best despite the coach’s decision to go with an unchanged side from the team that lost to Rhinos and was unable to reap from the consistency that he was seeking.
It leaves him with a lot of work to do ahead of their final match against Boarder Bulldogs next weekend if they have to avoid leaving South Africa empty-handed.
Kenya are paying the price for poor preparations after lack of funds saw them miss the first two fixtures of the tournament against Boland Cavaliers and Leopards in Potchefstroom. They arrived in South Africa just hours to their match against Rhinos, having risked being kicked out of the event if they failed to honour the tournament.
Simbas, who narrowly missed out on a ticket to the 2023 Rugby World Cup to Namibia at the 2022 Rugby Africa Cup, before falling off in the Repechage, are looking to begin early preparations for the 2027 tournament.