What you need to know:
- Colombia will now get support from World Rugby to the tune of about Sh11 million to duel the second-placed teams from Asia, Europe and Oceania regional tournaments in the repechage in Europe at a venue and date to be announced later.
Kenya’s dream of a first Rugby World Cup appearance went up in smoke after losing 15-16 to Colombia in their South America/Africa play-off at Nyayo National Stadium in Nairobi on Wednesday.
Colombia now advance to the four-nation repechage slated for January 2022 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
The Lionesses conceded countless penalties and suffered a huge blow as they were trying to get some rhythm in the second half after two of its players were sin-binned within a span of minutes just before the hour mark.
Kenya were overwhelmed in the first half by some good kicking from Colombians, who also prevented Felix Oloo’s charges from playing their running game. The Lionesses had the first opportunity to get on the scoreboard in the fourth minute after getting a penalty, but Grace Okulu was unsuccessful.
From there on it was all Cololmbia as they missed two penalties from Maria Alzuaga, before she gave her side the lead with her boot after Kenyan conceded another penalty in the 17th minute.
Alzuaga extended Colombia’s lead with another penalty in the 29th minute. An unconverted try by Alzuaga at the corner from a Maria Lopera pass saw Colombia widen the gap to 11-0. Kenya managed to reduce the gap to three points with a last-minute half try through Leah Wambui which Okulu converted.
The Lionesses started the second half brightly after Okulu added a penalty to trail 11-10, before going in front 15-11 in the 52nd minute after Janet Okello evaded two tackles to score a beautiful try.
However, two sin-bins before the hour saw Colombia utilise their numerical advantage to score the winning try through Alzuaga.
They will face second-ranked teams from Oceania, Europe and Asia in the repechage where only the winner will enter Pool “A” to face New Zealand, Australia and Wales at the 2021 Rugby World Cup to be held from October 8 to November 12, 2022 in New Zealand.
Rugby Africa President and World Rugby Executive Committee member Khaled Babbou attended the match.