Roaring Kenya Simbas floor Elephants in Currie Cup duel

Collins Injera of Kenya Simbas

Collins Injera of Kenya Simbas celebrates with a fan after their Currie Cup Division One match against Eastern Province Elephants of South Africa at RFUEA ground on June 11, 2022.

Photo credit: Chris Omollo | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • It was a game of two halves as centre Vincent Onyala scored a brace of tries with winger Collins Injera, fullback Darwin Mukidza and second row Malcom Onsando touching down a try each
  • The Elephants went into the match placed second in the 10-team Currie Cup championship while Kenya was in eighth place
  • Odera was quick to say that Kenya Simbas are ready for the Rugby Africa qualifier for the 2023 Paris Rugby World Cup to be held July 1- 10 in France


Kenya Simbas Saturday roared with six tries to shock visiting Eastern Province Elephants from South Africa 41-24 to end their maiden appearance at Currie Cup Division One in style at the RFUEA ground.

It was a game of two halves as centre Vincent Onyala scored a brace of tries with winger Collins Injera, fullback Darwin Mukidza and second row Malcom Onsando touching down a try each.

Mukidza made two conversions while Andrew Matoka one as Dominic Coulson slotted over a penalty. 

Referee Stephan Geldenhuus from South Africa also awarded the Simbas a penalty try against the Elephants who led 24-13 at the break.

The Elephants, who led 17-0 at one time after Onsando was sin-binned managed four tries through second row Johannes Huisamen, back rows Diego Williams and Gerrit Huisamen and winger Davian Swanepoel.

Kenya Simbas v Eastern Province Elephants of South Africa

Vincent Onyala (right) of Kenya Simbas tackles Elephans Athenkosi Mayinje of Eastern Province Elephants of South Africa supported by teammate Brian Waraba (left) during their Currie Cup Division One match at RFUEA ground on June 11, 2022.


Photo credit: Chris Omollo | Nation Media Group

It was Simbas second victory having beaten North West Leopards from South Africa 52-35 at the same venue. The Simbas now end their Currie Cup campaign with two wins and six losses.

The Elephants went into the match placed second in the 10-team Currie Cup championship while Kenya was in eighth place.  

Kenya took off to a slow start with the Elephants cashing in on the myriad of errors in their own half to assert themselves, scoring three quick tries from rolling mauls.

“The tries we conceded in the first half were from errors that we made in the wrong part of the field. We had to get our territory clear and right and minimise the mistakes,” said Kenya Simbas coach Paul Odera. “We are a difficult team to defend against when we have possession and that is what the boys did…fight for the ball.”

Odera was quick to say that Kenya Simbas are ready for the Rugby Africa qualifier for the 2023 Paris Rugby World Cup to be held July 1- 10 in France.

“These boys are fit, powerful and can go on for 80 minutes,” said Odera, adding that their Elephants encounter was different from the previous weekend’s duel against Leopards.

Kenya Simbas Samuel Asati

Samuel Asati of Kenya Simbas charges for the box with teammates advancing during their Currie Cup Division One match against Eastern Province Elephants of South Africa at RFUEA ground on June 11, 2022.


Photo credit: Chris Omollo | Nation Media Group

“We were losing this one but we led against Leopards. That is why our physical conditioning and mental strength have greatly improved,” said Odera. “These boys are confident in each other in that when someone makes a mistake they encourage rather than reprimand.”

Odera is also happy about his players’ skill level that has risen.

“They couldn’t scrummage before but our scrummages against Leopards and Elephants were big. We held our own and it puts us in good place at the World Cup qualifier,” explained Odera, adding that Currie Cup has been a blessing to his players.

The Elephants were forceful off the blocks, forcing Kenyan to commit errors as they claimed several penalties before kicking for touch near the try line which made it easy for them to score their first three tries as Onsando was sin-binned.

Fly-half Dominic Coulson would make a crucial interception before a lovely exchange with Injera to put through Onyala for their opening try. Coulson missed the conversion but got it right with a penalty that reduced the score at 12-8.

Kenya would get a penalty in Elephants five metres zone and Onsando would signal his return from the bin with a quick tap to land.

Swanepoel would strike for the Elephants to put them ahead 24-13 at the break.

Kenya Simbas fans

Kenya Simbas fans rally behind the team during their Currie Cup Division One match against Eastern Province Elephants of South Africa at RFUEA ground on June 11, 2022.

Photo credit: Chris Omollo | Nation Media Group

The second half simply belonged to the Simbas with some good running game. Injera made a decisive break, weaving through the Elephants defence to score, before Mukidza converted to reduce the deficit at 24-20.

Mukidza finished off a good flow with a try that he converted before Kenya benefited from a penalty try as Onyala wrapped it up.

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