by Juma Pondamali
Kenya start their Rugby Africa Gold Cup campaign with an away clash against Morocco on Saturday 23 June, exactly 11 years to the day since their only win over the Moroccans, a 23-16 result at Nairobi’s RFUEA Ground in 2007.
With this year’s competition also doubling up as the African qualifying round for the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan, the importance of starting on a winning note is not lost on the Simbas who are winless in their previous two visits to the North African country, losing 29-3 on 7 May 2005 and 29-11 on 11 July 2009.
A winning start in Morocco will undoubtedly give the Simbas the much needed impetus ahead of two intense successive home fixtures against Zimbabwe (30 June) and Uganda ( 7 July) as they look to eventually top the log at the close of competition on Saturday 18 August and become the fourth African country besides South Africa to represent Africa at the Rugby World Cup after Zimbabwe (1987,1991), Ivory Coast (1995) and Namibia (1999, 2003, 2007, 2011 and 2015).
Kenya v Morocco Head to Head
Morocco 29 Kenya 3 – Casablanca, 7th May 2005
Kenya 23 Morocco 16 -Nairobi, 23th June 2007
Morocco 29 Kenya 11 -Casablanca, 11th July 2009