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Vanquished Kenya Simbas face Germany in dead rubber

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By AYUMBA AYODI
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Kenya Simbas and Germany will battle for pride and honour when they clash in a mere formality match as the Rugby World Cup qualifier repechage ends on Friday at Stade Delort, Marseille, France.

Canada and Hong Kong will play for the 20th and final spot of the 2019 Rugby World after both sides notches wins against Germany and Kenya in this round robin affair.

The Simbas crashed to their second defeat, losing to Hong Kong 42-17 on Saturday, a week after they had gone down to a heavy 65-19 defeat at the hands of Canada to end their hopes of qualifying.

Regular World Cup campaigners Canada, who top the championship with 10 points, only need a point from their clash with Hong Kong to sail through to the Japan finals next year.

Canada showed admirable composure to see off stubborn German 29-10 and get the points that left them on the verge of qualification.

Hong Kong now must defeat Canada by a margin of 57 points, while hoping that the Canadians doesn’t secure a bonus point for them to make it to Japan.

A place in Pool “B” alongside defending champions New Zealand, two-time Rugby World Cup winners South Africa, Italy and Namibia awaits Canada or Hong Kong.

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Kenya verses Germany duel goes down at 6pm followed by Canada and Hong from 9pm.

Kenya Simbas coach Ian Snook said his charges are focused on ending their repechage run on a high when they face Germany.

“Germany will bring real physicality so we will need to improve our tackling and work at the ruck,” said Snook.

The New Zealander said there were a lot of good things Kenya drew from the Hong Kong defeat.

“Good attacking play resulted in good tries and we had a much-improved scrum but we still committed many errors and were not decisive enough,” said Snook.

He said meek tackles and poor decision making at line-outs cost them a lot.

Snook hinted he will decide his future plans with the team next week when they jet back into the country.

“I have no plans as yet but we should know that after sitting down next week with Kenya Rugby Union in Nairobi,” said Snook.

The Simbas met Germany last May in a memorable match.

Kenyan fans suffered a heartbreak when fly-half Chris Hilsenbeck curled over a drop goal in the last kick of play to snatch a dramatic 30-29 victory at a World Rugby Test in Nairobi.

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