Kenya vs Hong Kong 2nd Test Player Ratings
The Kenya Simbas at the weekend wrapped up their 2017 series Home tests with a hard fought 43-34 loss to a well oiled Hong Kong side at the RFUEA grounds.
This year the Simbas played 7 times at the RFUEA (probably the most matches we have seen in a calendar year), claiming 3 wins, 2 draws and 2 losses. The result at the weekend though represented one of the biggest home losses in the last 3 or so years. Hong Kong took us to rugby school, literally, especially in that first half.
Here are our player rankings from that second test :
- Moses Amusala (4) – The big bad bully, wasn’t at his best, he suffered at scrum time giving away several penalties and was almost absent in open play.
- Peter Karia (4) – Like his club mate Amusala, Peter Karia was almost absent in open play, he did put a commendable performance at line out time, but a couple of missed tackle including one that resulted in a try pour cold water on whatever gains made at the line out.
- Curtis Lilako (5) – The brightest spark in the all KCB front row, with our scrum taking a pounding at every turn he like Amusala will shoulder the blame. He however redeemed himself in open play with more than a handful ball carries and an impressive work rate, for a front row.
- Wilson Kopondo (6) – The cyborg didn’t have much to work with on the day seeing as the visitors hogged onto the ball for large chunks of the game, but as always he led from the front, putting his body on the line every time it was asked of him. Just like his front row, he’ll have to take the heat for the scrum.
- Simon Muniafu (4) – Was largely absent for most of the match, did his bit defensively and at the line out but did not have a significant impact on the game. He like his tight 5 mates will take the blame for the scrums.
- George Nyambua (6) – He picked up from where he left off on Sunday, showing us why he deserves a regular place in the side by putting in a spirited display over the 70 or so minutes he played. His work rate is something else and he thrived in the trenches, happy to do the dirty work.
- Davis Chenge (6) – The Kenyan Brock Lesnar put in another solid display from the open side flank, combining well with Nyambua to patrol the Kenyan defence line. He was also as devastating with ball in hand, with a try to show for his exploits.
- Joshua Chisanga (5) – The Reign Ruff didn’t have much to work with from the back of a ‘moon walking’ scrum. He was starved of possession and apart from a few ball carrys he didn’t have the impact we had expected.
- Samson Onsomu (8) – He was once again my man of the match, the diminutive play maker never once hang his head in that match. His service was quick, sublime and efficient, he was a shadow of the ball whenever we attacked. Capping his display with a great try.
- Isaac Adimo (5) – At times Wamamba looked out on his feet, misplacing a couple of kicks and making some shaky decisions. This was not the Adimo we are used to, that performance probably underlining our current situation at fly half.
- Jacob Ojee (7) – With Kenya seeing little of the ball, our free running backs didn’t have much to work with. The several times they did however, they showed us what they could do. Ojee was safe with the aerial ball and threatened every time with ball in hand, he was also solid defensively. Played the closing stages of game on an injured ankle but still managed to remain solid on defence.
- Leo Seje (6) – With little of the ball coming their way, the center pairing found themselves defending more than they usually do. Seje was put to test defensively and came out largely unscathed, going forward though the visitors had his number and kept him in check.
- Peter Kilonzo (6) – Like Seje, Kilo found himself defending more than usual, going off with a shoulder injury midway through the second half. He however did not let this rain on his Simbas debut. He was more devastating with ball in hand than his center partner and was unfortunate not to cap his debut with a try after beautifully linking with Darwin Mukidza and Jacob Ojee in the first half.
- Darwin Mukidza (8) – Right after Onsomu was the smiling assassin, in the pecking order for man of the match. Mukidza had a 100% kicking record off 2 penalties, 4 conversions, add a try to that and he scored a total of 19 points for the Simbas. Mukidza was as always menacing with ball in hand, safe under the high ball and always looking to get involved in play.
- Tony Onyango (6) – As always, safe under the high ball Tony largely improved in his decision making and running lines. The Hong Kong fly half tested him severally with the high ball, though he was caught out a few times he always had it covered. He got a try to cap his display which is always a great thing.
- Phillip Ikambili (5) – Came on mid way through the first half and immediately made an impact. Was part of the players that rejuvenated the Kenyan charge with his ball carrying.
- Oscar Simiyu (5) – Like Ikambili, his effect was immediately felt, especially at the scrum, he was also instrumental with ball in hand.
- Dennis Karani (4) – Came on alongside Simiyu and Ikambili and though he was vital at the scrum, his impact on open play went largely unfelt.
- Oliver Mang’eni (5) – On for Wilson Kopondo, Oliver’s impact was immediate, he got straight into the thick of things, breaking the line a couple of times within 5 minutes of his introduction. As always he added an extra spring to the Kenyan line out.
- Eric Kerre (4) – Replaced Nyambua with a little over 10 minutes to play. While the rest made an impact going forward, Kerre like the guy he was coming on for, made his impact on defence, with some crunching tackles and great work off the ball.
- Lyle Asiligwa (N/A) – Unfortunately, Lyle did not play in this one, I had waited to see his turn around from last Sunday’s performance.
- Dennis Muhanji (4) – Came on for Kilonzo and made an immediate impact with his ball carries though he wasn’t on for long enough to make a noticeable impact.
- Vincent Mose (N/A) – Though he did come on, Mose wa madude wasn’t on for long enough to make an impact. I doubt if he even touched the ball.
It was a spirited fight from the Simbas but in the end the fight came too late to change the result. Hong Kong had done their job in the first half. These two are set to meet again in November when Hong Kong host the 4 Nations cup.