Mwanja optimistic Lionesses will rise despite loss to South Africa

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Kenya Lionesses Flyhalf Grace Adhiambo during a past fixture. PHOTO/COURTESY
Kenya Lionesses Flyhalf Grace Adhiambo during a past fixture. PHOTO/COURTESY

Despite the Kenya rugby ladies team, Lionesses embarrassing 48-0 loss to African champions South Africa, head coach Dennis Mwanja is optimistic his charges will come back stronger having picked positives from the loss.

According to the legendary rugby player with the Shujaa team believes the loss to South Africa in their Rugby Africa Women’s Cup encounter in Madagascar on Wednesday afternoon has a lot of positives rather than negatives.

“We were able to pick some positives from the game, given that our scrum downs were strong. We were not being pushed over easily. Our line outs were also in perfect synchrony and above all we were very tactical in avoiding their mauls, generally, the girls gave a very good account of themselves,” Mwanja noted.

The Women Boks ran six tries to lead 34-0 heading to the intervals to the expectations of Mwanja who had anticipated an uphill task against the South Africans due to their resolute defense and tactical attack.

Nomawethu Mabenge scored a hat trick with Libbie Janse van Rensburg earning a brace and one each from Zintle Mpupha, Sizophila Solontsi and Chumisa Qawe.

The two rivals were meeting for the first time since August 2021 when, the South Africans won a two-match test series in Stellenbosch, claiming victory in the opening fixture 66-0 before scoring a last-gasp try to claim the second fixture 29-22.

Prior to yesterday’s fixture, South Africa were fresh from an 87-0 win over Cameroon in their first match that saw them top the table while Kenya on the other hand won 29-10 against hosts Madagascar in their opening match.

The winner of this tournament will qualify for the second tier of the newly launched World Rugby WXV with the runner-up qualifying for the third tier of the same competition.

Lionesses stormed to victory in Pool B of the Rugby Africa Cup in the November International Season, automatically qualifying for the 2023 Rugby Africa Women’s Cup Championship.

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