The national men’s and women’s 15 rugby teams yesterday both started the 2021 Rugby Africa Cup campaign on a bad note after losing their opening matches played in Nairobi.
Fijian-born Jone Kubu scored 14 points on his debut as Simbas narrowly went down 20-19 to Senegal in a closely contested Group B match at Nyayo National Stadium.
The Simbas went into the match eyeing the third straight win over Senegal but found the going tough after a late converted try sealed the West Africans’ first win over Kenya since 2009.
Kabras Sugar fly half Jone Kubu gave Kenya a 6-0 lead after converting two penalties in the opening 15 minutes before Mamadou Ndiaye tied the scores after two penalties were awarded to the visitors.
KCB winger Darwin Mukidza grounded Simbas’ only try of the match after combining well with Kubu to extend the lead to 13-6 before Senegal tied the scores again at the break.
In the final half, Kubu converted two penalties to give Kenya a slim 19-13 lead before being stretched off.
Davis Chenge was sent off in the dying minutes handing advantage to Senegal who eventually won the match with the last kick of the match through George Mendy’s converted try to seal their first win over Kenya.
Earlier on, Kenya Lionesses kicked off their Rugby Africa Women’s Cup campaign with a 27-15 defeat to Madagascar.