Nairobi (AFP) – Kenya ran in eleven tries to crush Tunisia 67-0 in their penultimate game of the 2019 World Cup qualifying tournament on Saturday, setting up a winner-takes-all showdown against Namibia next weekend.
Debutant Willy Ambaka made a perfect transition from sevens to the traditional form of the game when he put Kenya ahead with the first try after only four minutes of play.
The winger picked up a loose ball in the middle of the Tunisian defence to open the scoring for the Simbas, who are set play Namibia in the tournament decider in Windhoek next week.
Kenyan coach Ian Snook said he planned to make a few changes to the team for the final match.
“The result against Tunisia was good. But we need a lot of things to be fixed before we play Namibia. Tactically there will be changes to the team,” said Snook.
After a scrappy opening 20 minutes, punctuated by handling errors and poor passes, Kenya outclassed an injury-weakened Tunisian side, which is taking part in the tournament for the first time.
Tries from skipper Davis Chenge, Andrew Chogo, Jacob Ojee, Elkean Musonye and Darwin Mukidza and five conversions from the golden boot of Mukidza combined to give the home side a commanding 40-0 half-time lead.
Martin Owila scored the seventh try straight from the kick-off to stretch the Kenyan lead, before the home side were reduced to 14 men after Hillary Mwanjilwa was yellow-carded.
Tunisia also had two players sent to the sin bin and could not resist the Kenyan pressure.
Owila, who earned the man-of-the match accolade for his performance, Peter Kaaria, Mohammed Omolo and Ambaka both added tries to complete the rout.
Kenya picked up the maximum five points to stay second in the final African qualifying group on 17 points, three behind Namibia.
The winner gains an automatic place in the tournament in Japan next year, the second-place team plays a repechage
In Kampala, strong finishes to each half earned Uganda a 47-29 victory over Morocco, which ensured the hosts of top-tier African rugby next season.
Tries by Michael Wokorach and Ivan Magomu stretched a nine-point advantage to a 30-7 lead by half-time at Kyadondo Stadium in the Ugandan capital.
When a Naoufal el Kadli penalty narrowed the gap to just four points in the second half, Uganda responded with tries from Pius Ogena and substitute Solomon Okia.
Full-back Philip Wokorach, who scored 37 points when they thrashed Tunisia last weekend, was an impeccable goal-kicker, slotting five conversions and four penalties from nine attempts.
South African referee Rasta Rasivhenge had his hands full during the match, spending as much time explaining basic laws of the game as he did officiating.
A Moroccan forward initially refused to leave the field during the second half after the match commissioner had declared him unfit to continue following a head injury.