Captain Amonde cracks both codes
Madagascar v Kenya
Kenya Sevens skipper Andrew Amonde is rewarded for his match-winning performance off the bench against Namibia with the captain’s armband and a place in the starting line-up for Wednesday’s crunch Confederation Africaine de Rugby Division 1 second round clash against host nation Madagascar.
Loose forward Amonde, one of several Sevens specialists called up into the Fifteens team for the RWC 2015 qualifying tournament, was driven over in the final quarter of the match to hand the Simbas a shock 29-22 win in Antananarivo.
They are level on points with Zimbabwe at the top of the CAR Division 1A Table and another bonus point win on Wednesday, in the second match of the day, would put them firmly in the driving seat to win the competition and qualify for England 2015 as Africa 1.
Head coach Jerome Paarwater has made a total of 11 changes to the side that beat Namibia as Kenya seek their first ever win over Madagascar. The sides have met three times before, Madagascar winning twice, in 1987 and 2001, while the most recent encounter nine years ago ended in a 24-24 draw.
A new-look pack will take to the field on Wednesday, with lock Oliver Mang’eni the only starting forward to survive the cut from last Saturday’s match. Among the newcomers is Sevens regular and Western Bulls back-rower, Davis Chenge, who is in line for his Test debut.
Followers of Sevens will also note the inclusion of the brotherly trio of Michael Agevi, Collins Injera and Humphrey Kayange, in a back line full of pace and invention.
“Morale in the camp is high,” said team manager Wangila Simiyu. “All the players are in good shape and in good spirits and are raring to go.
“We brought a very capable squad to Madagascar and will put our best foot forward when we step out to play this match against the hosts.” Simiyu added:
“Madagascar will not be an easy opponent, especially when you consider they are playing before their home fans.
“We are treating every game at these championships as a final and we’re not taking anyone for granted; we cannot allow over confidence and complacency to creep in.
“We are well aware of the task in hand and we must ensure that we finish the job.”
Team line-ups: (15-9, 1-8)
Madagascar: Herizo Solonirina Rasoanaivo; Jacquot Hary, Edmond Rakotoarimanana, Andrianavabea Bienvenu Mananjarasoa, Benjaniaina Rakotoarivelo; Sidonie Rakotoarisoa, Nantenaina Rakotomananalina; Jean Willy Rabemananjara, Hasina Rakotoarivelo, Hajinirina Randrianambinina, Tolotra Ramaromiantso, Herizo Rakotoarisoa (captain), Mampionontsoa Rakotoson, Claudio Ravelomananjara, ,Boniface Touissant Rabearilala,
Kenya: Michel Agevi; Dennis Muhanji, Humphrey Kayange, Simiyu Barasa, Collins Injera; Kenny Andola, Lylle Asiligwa; Curtis Lilak, Maxuel Adaka, Moses Amusala, Ronnie Mwenesi, Oliver Mangeni, Andrew Amonde (Captain), Davis Chenge, Joshua Chisanga,
Referee: Luke Pearce (RFU)
Zimbabwe v Namibia
Zimbabwe, who lead the standings on points difference after their 55-27 win over Madagascar in round one, have made a couple of tactical changes for their match against old nemesis Namibia.
Hooker Simba Mandioma replaces Old Georgians club mate Keith Murray in the front row while Njabulo Ndlovu comes in at blindside flanker for Graeme Lawler as the Sables look to end a six-match losing streak against Wednesday’s opponents.
In recent times, Zimbabwe were outmuscled 37-33 in 2012 before going down 35-26 last year. But Namibia will not take anything for granted in what could be their final throw of the dice in attempting to get to England next year.
Namibia Rugby Union vice-president, Danie Strauss, has certainly been impressed with the quality of rugby on show right across the board during his visit to Madagascar.
“The quality of rugby played at this tournament is very high and impressive,” Strauss said. “The countries playing in CAR 1A have improved immensely during the past year and the improvement of rugby in general in Africa is something that we can all be proud of. Namibia must recognise this change and realise that we are not the only force behind South Africa to be reckoned with.”
Strauss added: “Kenya have learned a lot with their Vodacom Cup participation, Zimbabwe are playing impressive structured rugby, while Madagascar have invented their own style to suit their size and ability, and it is fascinating to watch them playing.”
Namibia have made minor alterations to their pack, with loose head prop Johannes Redelinghuys and lock Tjueza Munee coming in for Jacob Engels and Tinus du Plessis who drop to the bench.
Team line-ups (15-9, 1-8):
Namibia: Chrysander Boltha; David Philander, Darryl de la Harpe, Johan Deysel, Henrich Smit; Theuns Kotze,Arthur Bower ;Johannes Redelinghuys, Rathony Becker, Andre Schlechter, Tjiueza Munee, Morne Bloom, Rohan Kitshoff, Renaldo Bothma, Peter-Jan van Lill (Captain),
Zimbabwe: Tangai Nemadire; Tafadzwa Chitokwindo, Daniel Hondo (captain), Stephan Hunduza, Guy Cronje; Hilton Mudariki, Denford Mutamangira, Matthew Mandioma, Lawrence Clemison, Jan Ferreira, Schalk Ferreira, Njabulo Ndlovu , Jaques Leitao, Lambert Groenewald,
Referee: Francisco Pastrana (Argentina)
Watch LIVE COVERAGE>> on Wednesday 2 July of the second round of matches in the RWC African qualifying tournament from Madagascar.