Four teams have confirmed their place in the Rugby Africa Cup 2022 – the next stage of the region's Rugby World Cup 2023 qualification process – following the latest round of results.
Namibia and Ivory Coast made it through as the top two teams from Pool A of this year’s elite level competition, while Senegal and Kenya qualified from Pool B.
Pool A was keenly contested, with one win apiece for the three competing teams, and was ultimately decided on points difference.
Madagascar missed out despite bouncing back from their midweek 52-10 defeat to Namibia with a 24-19 victory against hosts Ivory Coast, who remain on course to appear in their first Rugby World Cup of the professional era on the strength of their shock win against Namibia last week. It will only be of minor consolation to the Makis that the result lifted them five places in the World Rugby Men’s Rankings to 47th.
In Pool B, Senegal were the only team to win both their fixtures, following up an earlier 20-19 win over Kenya with a 20-5 victory against Zambia. Kenya bounced back to beat Zambia 45-8 on Sunday to finish runners-up behind the Lions.
The Rugby Africa Cup 2022 will involve eight teams – with the top two teams from Pool C and Pool D making up the line-up – and is due to be played on a straight knockout basis.
Uganda got off to a good start in Pool C with a 53-12 win over Ghana on Saturday.
Number eight Desire Ayera and winger Solomon Okia both grabbed a brace of tries in a nine-try victory against a team ranked 46 places lower than them.
Uganda, who are the host nation of Pool C, will look to make it two wins from two against Algeria on Sunday, 18 July.
Before then, Ghana have a must-win encounter against Algeria this Wednesday.
Chile strike first blow
Meanwhile, the first of three matches in the Sudamérica Rugby 3 Naciones ended in a 23-13 win for Chile at Estadio Charrúa in Montevideo.
Los Condores emerged with their first win over Brazil in four years thanks to a dominant forward pack.
Hooker Augusto Böhme was the main beneficiary with a try midway through each half. Fly-half Francisco Urroz and full-back Rodrigo Fernández each weighed in with six points from the kicking tee.
Winger Daniel Lima had given Brazil a 10-8 interval lead when he scored on the stroke of half-time.
But Os Tupis could only muster a further three points from the boot of Moisés Duque early in the second half and now must upset Uruguay, on 25 July, to remain in with a chance of qualifying for RWC 2023.
Tournament hosts Uruguay begin their qualification journey this coming Saturday with a game against Chile.
📈 🏆| Portugal move up into second place in the 2021 Rugby Europe Championship after today's victory in Amsterdam.— Rugby Europe (@rugby_europe) July 10, 2021
This @rugbyworldcup qualification has a few twists and turns to go yet! pic.twitter.com/qD9XHhn1NR
High five for Storti
The former Portugal U20 try-scoring machine became the first Os Lobos player to score more than three tries in a test in a convincing 61-28 win for his team.
Mike Tadjer got the scoring spree underway – and in doing so added to the incredible number of tries scored by hookers over the weekend, while Storti’s fellow winger Rodrigo Marta helped himself to a hat-trick.
Results from the Rugby Europe Championship 2021 and 2022 count towards qualification for France 2023 and Portugal are currently sitting second in the table behind Georgia.
The team with the most points from the two years combined will qualify for Rugby World Cup 2023 as Europe 1, with the side ranked second taking the spot reserved for Europe 2.
Portugal have not qualified for a Rugby World Cup since France last hosted the event in 2007.
Meanwhile, Samoa ran in five second-half tries to win the first leg of their Rugby World Cup 2023 qualifier 42-13 against Tonga in Auckland.
Henry Taefu scored 20 points at Mt Smart Stadium as Manu Samoa turned on the style following a cagey opening period, which they led 6-3 at half-time.
The size of Samoa’s victory means that they will book their place at France 2023 as Oceania 1 should they avoid defeat by 29 points or more when the teams meet again in Hamilton this Saturday.