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Namibians Stand Between Kenya Simbas And World Cup

Kenya Simbas will face off with Namibia in the Rugby Africa Cup final on Sunday 10 July 2022 in Marseille in a match that will determine who will qualify for 2023 Rugby World Cup.

Simba booked their place in the final after edging out Algeria 36-33 in a tense semi-final played on Wednesday, while Namibia strolled past Zimbabwe 34-19, ending the Sables’ dream of a third World Cup final appearance and first since 1991.

Kenya have only beaten Namibia twice in their 12 Test matches.The Welwitschias have not lost to the Simbas since the 2014 Africa qualifier.

In 2015, Namibia beat Kenya 46-13 before winning again 56-21 in 2016, 45-7 in 2017 and 60-24 in November last year.

Kenya and Namibia head into the crunch match unbeaten. The south Africans are, however, the Rugby Africa Cup defending champions and overwhelming favourites.

“We are going to look to borrow some of the things that were successful for us in November,” Kenya coach Paul Odera told BBC Sport Africa.

“We have got to be clinical at the breakdown and give away less penalties, particularly in areas where Namibia can get territorial position and use their very effective maul.

“We need to stay in the contest for 80 minutes. In November we were leading at half-time and then Namibia blew us away.

“Our focus is to play for 80 minutes. If we do that we will have a good chance of qualifying.”

Namibia are chasing a seventh successive global tournament appearance versus Kenya’s bid for a maiden qualification.

The Welwitschias head coach Allister Coetzee  reckoned that Kenya, without a doubt will be their strongest test hence are not taking any chances even with their superior record.

“We are playing against a very physical Kenyan side – they’re quite big, physical players,” Coetzee told BBC Sport Africa.

“They have a fantastic scrum-half and the inside centre is also a dangerous ball carrier, but we have got to stick to what we do best.

“First and foremost, I want to make sure that the team is fresh, the team is well-rested and recovered, and field the best possible team again. We are excited and we’re looking forward to it.”

All will not be lost for  the loser of the tie as he will get another chance to make it to France through a Repechage tournament in November.

The Rugby Africa Cup champions on Sunday will take their place in Group A at the 2023 Rugby World Cup as Africa 1, alongside France, New Zealand, Italy and Uruguay.

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