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Kenya: Bad Day in Office for Lionesses in Madagascar After Loss to South Africa


Nairobi — The national women’s rugby team lost 48-0 to South Africa in the second match of their Rugby Africa Women’s Cup campaign in Antananarivo, Madagascar on Wednesday afternoon.

The Lionesses were all out at sea in the first half as the South Africans ran riot with six tries, courtesy of a Nomawethu Mabenge hattrick, a brace from Libbie Janse van Rensburg and one each from Zintle Mpupha, Sizophila Solontsi and Chumisa Qawe.

The Women Boks led 34-0 at halftime as their resolute defensive performance and their opponents’ ball handling errors seemed to play into their hands.

A yellow card to Grace Adhiambo did not also help the Lionesses’ cause as the Boks capitalised on the numerical advantage to camp in the Kenyans’ 22.

The second half began scrappily as both teams sought to settle into a rhythm with the Kenyans in particular struggling to get out of their defensive half.

Amidst the tug and push between the two sides, Mpupha completed her brace of the afternoon, eight minutes after the restart, benefitting from some good interchange of passes between the Boks’ backs and forwards to make it 41-0.

Not to be cowed into submission, the Lionesses, however, fought back bravely in a bid for a first try and had the South African backs on the wall for a majority of the second half.

The pressure on coach Louis Koen’s side told when three of their players – Lusanda Dumke, Unam Tose and Mabenge – were banished to the sin bin at different points of the game for ill-discipline.