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RUGBY

Simbas predict tough match against Algeria

Kenya will play Algeria on Wednesday, 7pm (EAT)

Kenya Simbas squad at Aix-en-Provence, in France on July 5, 2022 on the eve of their Rugby World Cup qualifier semi-final against Algeria. Image | KRU

The men's national rugby team, Simbas as set to play their second 2023 Rugby World Cup Africa qualifiers match against Algeria and coach Paul Odera has predicted a tight and tough match.

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The semi-final clash, set to take place on Wednesday, July 6 at 7pm (local time) promises to be mouth watering. Both teams secured rounding victories in the Quarter Finals with Kenya demolishing Uganda 42-7 while Algeria mauled past Senegal 35-12.

The two teams have never played against each other before but Simbas rank higher than their North African opponents. Kenya lies 33rd on the global rankings with Algeria placing 49 places below Simbas in position 82.

Despite their dominant position on the log, coach Odera has warned his players not to be complacent but prepare for a tough battle.

“It won’t be an easy battle, having watched them stop Senegal, who beat us in the first round of qualification last year,” said Odera.

It must be noted that on July, 3 2021, the Simbas lost 20-19 to Senegal in a Rugby Africa Cup Pool B match at Nyayo Stadium.

Odera further reiterated plans to not only control the match same way they did against their neighbours, Uganda but also finish the match with intensity.

“We played well against Uganda, kept calm, controlled the game and didn’t let any errors affect our rhythm. However, we didn’t maintain the same intensity towards the end but we have addressed that,” said Odera.

Algeria coach Ousmane Mané on the other hand, said his team heads into the match with minimal pressure as they are the underdogs.

“Before there was a lot of pressure for the players, for the first game against Senegal, you know. For tomorrow, for the semi-final, all the players are free,” said Mané.

Mané concluded by predicting that the most disciplined side between the two will win the game. “The team that doesn't [give away] a lot of penalties, is going to win this game. You need to be cold and do those things right,” he said.

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