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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 
Kenya roots for patience, teamwork to
propel rugby team in Gold Cup campaign

By John Kwoba NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenya national rugby team captain Davis Chenge on Tuesday called for patience and teamwork ahead of his country’s clash with Uganda, in a match that will double up as the final of the regional Elgon Cup and the Rugby Africa Gold Cup.

Speaking to Xinhua in Nairobi on Tuesday, Chenge said he believes his team has what it takes to defeat their rivals and go all the way to secure their first ever appearance at a Rugby World Cup next year in Japan.

Only South Africa, Namibia and Zimbabwe have represented Africa at the World Cup, and Kenya is keen to end the domination from the southern part of the continent.

Chenge, who helped Kenya score three tries in their 45-36 win over Zimbabwe last week, is calling on his troops to remain focused in their quest for regional bragging rights in the Elgon Cup against Uganda.

Kenya previously beat Uganda 34-16 in the first leg of the Elgon Cup in May, but must be on the lookout as their neighbours seek revenge.

“We started the match against Zimbabwe strongly and got the points. But things became tense in the final minutes, which is not good. However, I am proud of what the substitutes did to restore our lead and secure the win.

“We certainly must improve on line-outs and set-pieces, as well as a little bit of scrummaging ahead of the upcoming games. The mood in the camp is encouraging, as all the players are looking forward to another clash with Uganda,” said Chenge.

Namibia top the table with 15 points, having bagged maximum points from three matches against Uganda 55-6, Tunisia 118-0 and Morocco 63-7. Namibia look to be the team that Kenya must beat if they are to qualify for the World Cup.

Kenya have played two matches and have eight points, having missed out on bonus point wins on both occasions. They previously defeated Morocco 28-24 and Zimbabwe 45-36.

The 2018 Africa Gold Cup winner will be determined at the end of the competition in August, where the team with the most points will be crowned champions and scoop the sole ticket to the Rugby World Cup in Japan 2019.

South Africa are exempted from qualifying owing to their superior world ranking.

The runners-up from the tournament will head to the global repechage in November for a final chance to qualify for the World Cup.

           

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