Kenya Simbas face a tricky test against wounded Zimbabwe in an Africa Gold Cup match in Bulawayo today.
Kenya, who lie second on the standings with 12 points, will be seeking consecutive wins over Zimbabwe after hammering them 61-15 in Harare last year.
Zimbabwe will be buoyed by their narrow 31-26 defeat at the hands of Namibia last weekend in Windhoek, a match they should have won having led 20-7 at the interval. Kenya beat Senegal 45-25 at the RFUEA grounds.
It will be a tightly fought encounter with both sides employing expansive game and it may boil down to who has the better execution in attack and defence.
The Simbas trained yesterday at Petra High school and had their Captain’s run at Hartsfield grounds later in the afternoon.
The Simbas start with recalled Curtis Lilako, Peter Kaaria and Moses Amusala in the front row with skipper Wilson K’Opondo and Simon Muniafu the second row. Joshua Chisanga starts at number 8 with Davis Chenge and Eric Kerre the fellow backrowers
Samson Onsomu partners Isaac Adimo at halfback with Leo Seje and David Ambunya in midfield. Vice captain Darwin Mukidza and Jacob Ojee man the wings as Tony Onyango starts at fullback.
Head coach Jerome Paarwater expects a tough contest against a physical Sables side.
“This will be a tough match. We have rectified the mistakes we had against Senegal and the boys are raring to go,” said Paarwater, adding that key for the side will be dominate exchanges upfront and play at a frenetic pace.
“The match will be won upfront. If we can get over the advantage line and convert territory and possession into points then we can win the game,” he added.
On their part Zimbabwe will rely on skipper Denford Mutamangira, Fortune Chipendu, Jacques Leitao and Connor Pritchard in the forwards with Tichafara Makwanya, Takudzwa Kumadiro, and Gavin Nyawata the pick at the backs .
Coach Cyprian Mandenge expects his charges to bounce back from the defeat to Namibia
“We have learnt our lessons from the match against Namibia last weekend and I want the boys to show intensity for the full 80 minutes against Kenya. It will be a tough match but I believe the boys will come out on top,” said Mandenge. The match kickoffs at 4pm.