Author: Stephen Ochieng

Tunisia edge Uganda to seal 5th spot as Zambia clinch 7th ahead of Ivory Coast

The Tunisia U20 national rugby 15s side finished the 2022 edition of the continental U20 Barthes Trophy in fifth place after defeating Uganda 24-11 in the 5/6th place final staged at the Nyayo National Stadium on Sunday 17 April.

In a low scoring affair in the first half, the Tunisians took a 7-3 lead going into the break after Mohammed Riahi’s opening try was successfully converted by Ilyes Ayari.

Uganda, who dominated a better part of the game, were let down by poor handling skills in the red zone as they camped around the Tunisia 22 but had nothing to show for it on the scoreboard.

Skipper Daniel Okello finally put them on the board before the break with a penalty goal.

Okello would make it a one point game at the start of the second half as he drilled in a second penalty to make it 7-6 but the Tunisians pulled clear by scoring three consecutive tries to take their scores to 24-6 but Kevin Ampaire managed to score Uganda’s only try that got the game to a respectable 24-11 fulltime score, leaving Uganda to settle for 6th place behind Tunisia.

In the 7/8th playoff, Zambia got their first win of the tournament as they defeated Cote D’Ivoire 22-8 to finish in 7th position ahead of their opponents who finished bottom of the pile in this year’s tourney.

Both teams came into their final clash without a victory in the tournament after Cote d’Ivoire lost to Namibia and Uganda while Zambia lost against Madagascar and Tunisia with both sides looking for positives to bring their campaigns to an end.

Zambia ended up plundering their maiden win as they came from behind to stage the victory over the Ivorians who finished without a win in their three matches.

Kenya Chipu to fight for bronze against Madagascar after Namibia loss

The national U20 rugby 15s side, Kenya Chipu, will battle for a third place finish on the podium this Sunday when they face the Junior Makis from Madagascar in the 3/4th place playoff final set to be staged at the Nyayo National Stadium this weekend as the 2022 edition of the continental U20 Barthes Trophy comes to an end.

This year, hosts Chipu, who were the back to back champions of the junior championship, will not be able to complete a consecutive treble and defend their title as they were knocked out in the semifinal stage 5-16 by tournament favourites Namibia who advanced to the final in their stead.

Following the loss, the Curtis Olago coached side were forced to drop to the 3/4th playoff where they face Madagascar in a repeat clash of the 2021 main cup final where Kenya won 21-20 in a very tough and epic contest.

While Kenya and Madagascar will fight for the bronze, Namibia will be seeking to ascend to the top of the 8 team tournament but have a very able Zimbabwe side also waiting in store to try and stop them.

The physical Zimbabweans edged Madagascar to book the rivalry between the two nations.

Apart from the two matches, Cote D’Ivoire will open the final match day proceedings against Zambia in the 7/8th playoff with both sides failing to record any wins so far in their opening two games.

Neigbhours Uganda will then face Tunisia in the 5/6th place playoff in the second match.

Sunday 17 April 2022 Schedule.

Cote D’Ivoire vs Zambia – 0900EAT

Uganda vs Tunisia – 1130 EAT

Kenya vs Madagascar – 1400EAT

Namibia vs Zimbabwe -1630EAT

Tunisia fight quarterfinal blues with dogged win over Zambia

Just days after succumbing to a last minute heartbreak against Zimbabwe, Tunisia picked themselves up in their placement semifinal match against Zambia as they recorded their first win of the 2022 U20 Barthes Trophy tournament to qualify for the 5/6th playoff match against Uganda.

In the second placement semis match played at the Nyayo National Stadium, the North Africans, who were knocked out of main cup contention via a last minute Zimbabwe try that condemned them to an 18-19 loss, displayed incredible resolve to keep out the Zambians by a 25-20 full time score.

Halfway through the match, Tunisia had cruised to a 20-8 lead but an inspired second half performance from the Zambians tested their character to the limit which they ended up rising to the occassion. While they got victory, Zambia, who have now lost all two encounters, were left to settle for one of the two bottom places where they will face Cote D’Ivoire in the 7/8th playoff final.

As the game started, Tunisia were the first to get the scoreboard ticking as they touched down for the first successfully converted try to take a 7-0 lead. The two teams then traded successful penalties to get the game to 10-3 before Zambia reduced the deficit to only two points with an unconverted try.

However, Tunisia opened a ten point gap as they scored a converted try and a penalty that gave them a 20-8 lead going into the break.

When action resumed in the second half, the Zambians emerged from the tunnels a much sharper side as they chased their first win in the tournament as well.

Despite nailing four penalties, their efforts came just short as Tunisia found the half’s only try that stretched their lead and win to 25-20.

Uganda edge spirited Ivory Coast for first tournament win

Uganda’s national U20 rugby 15s side got their first win of the 2022 Barthes Trophy after condemning Ivory Coast to a 26-19 defeat in the first placement semifinal match staged at the Nyayo National Stadium on Wednesday morning.

Coming into the clash, both sides had been knocked out of main cup contention as Uganda lost 54-20 to hosts and defending champions Kenya Chipu while Ivory Coast were hammered 62-0 by Namibia in the other quarter final.

As a result, both sides were looking to get off the mark as they looked to avoid the dreaded last two positions that were at risk of being relegated.

In the match though, it is Uganda who managed to come through despite a spirited second half performance from the Ivorians who threatened to stage a comeback.

By the halftime break, Uganda led 20-0 courtesy of two converted tries and two penalty conversions. In the second half, as if aware of the threat of relegation, Ivory Coast came charging right back as they dotted three tries (two converted, one missed) to rack up nineteen points.

However, Uganda just added two more penalties to their score to finish at 26-19. With the result, Uganda moved to the 5/6th playoff after their first win while Ivory Coast dropped to the danger 7/8th placement final.

Semifinal Preview: Kenya Chipu take on Namibia as Zimbabwe lock horns with Zimbabwe

Following an explosive match day 1 action that saw four out of the eight teams advance to the semifinals of the 2022 U20 Barthes Trophy currently being held at the Nyayo National Stadium in Nairobi, match day 2 promises even better encounters as the remaining quartet – Kenya, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Madagascar – battle to make it to the finale of the continental competition.

Hosts and defending champions Kenya Chipu will take on 2019 losing finalists Namibia in semifinal 1 as Zimbabwe host the Junior Makis from Madagascar in the second semifinal.

Just before those last 4 pairings, though, there will be two games pitting the losing quarterfinalists where Cote D’Ivoire will face Uganda in the first match of the day as Tunisia face Zambia in the subsequent clash.

Here is a preview of what to expect in match day 2.

Cote D’Ivoire vs Uganda

After a rude welcoming to the 2022 edition of the tournament courtesy of heavy defeats in their respective opening matches, both Ivory Coast and Uganda will be out to atone for their opening day losses when they face each other in the placement semifinal that kicks off at 0900EAT.

Both Uganda and Cote d’Ivoire met an uphill task that proved insurmountable. Cote d’Ivoire lost by 62-00 to former champions Namibia in the first match of the tournament as Uganda came crumbling against rivals Kenya Chipu who beat them 54-20 in the junior edition of the Elgon Cup.

“We have done our SWOT analysis of what to expect against Cote D’Ivoire and we have tried to address the challenges we had against Kenya. Therefore, we believe we will come out strong,” Uganda assistant coach Martial Tchumkam told Barthes media.

Tunisia vs Zambia

Tunisia will be seeking redemption when they take on Zambia in the second placement final at the Nyayo National Stadium.

In their quarter final clash against Zimbabwe, the North Africans were heartbroken at the death as Zimbabwe scored a last minute try to steal a 19-18 victory that knocked out the Tunisians who had looked on course for the semis.

Zambia on the other hand will be looking to stay alert throughout the whole course of the game as they caved in the second half against Madagascar who turned around the score from 13-14 at halftime to a 26-14 full time score.

Kenya Chipu vs Namibia

Billed as the final before the final, fireworks are expected at Nyayo Stadium when hosts and defending champions Chipu take on Namibia in the first semifinal in a repeat of the 2019 Barthes Trophy finale that saw Kenya lift the title after a very hard fought 21-18 victory.

Coming into the tournament as the favourites, both teams will be out to live up to the billing when they look to book a ticket in the final.

Curtis Olago’s Chipu will be out to exert their dominance as the hosts and back to back defending champions as they chase a treble while Namibia will be out in search of revenge. Any way you look at it, this match promises to be a treat!

Zimbabwe vs Madagascar

Matchday 2 action will come to a close when these two sides fight for the remaining ticket to the final.

Madagascar, who made it to the 2021 final but narrowly lost to Kenya (21-20) , will be relying on that past experience when they face Zimbabwe who will be out to create a story of their own having already shown incredible character in getting to the semifinals.

Placement Semifinal Fixtures:

SF 1 (9 a.m. EAT): Cote d’Ivoire vs Uganda

SF 2 (11.30 a.m. EAT): Tunisia vs Zambia

Main Cup Semifinal Fixtures:

SF 1 (2 p.m.): Namibia vs Kenya

SF 2 (4.30 p.m.): Zimbabwe vs Madagascar

Breezing Namibia hammer Ivory Coast to book semis spot

2019 losing finalists Namibia got their hunt for the 2022 U20 Barthes Trophy off to the very best of starts as they thrashed Ivory Coast 62-0 in the opening game of the knockout tournament to successfully book their place in the semifinals of the continental competition.

In the first quarter final fixture that was played on Saturday morning at the Nyayo National Stadium in Nairobi, the Namibians were in a class of their own with their ten tries as they breezed past the West Africans who failed to get any response whatsoever in the match.

Just ten minutes in, Feliciano Shakira and Patrick Frits had already landed two tries that were both successfully converted by Gerald Stephan to put Namibia 14-0 up, a tell tale sign of what awaited the opponents.

Unable to offer anything as counter response, the Ivorians found themselves conceding three more unconverted tries as they went into the half time break trailing 29-0.

Of the three added, Stephan landed a first half brace on either side of Jano Atto’s touch down to ensure the comfortable lead at the interval.

In the second half, Ivory Coast improved a little bit but even with the tryline just at their mercy, the team could not find any way past a mean and resolute defense that kept them out whenever they probed.

Namibia on the other hand added five more tries that were all successfully converted save for one to complete the 62-0 rout that ensured their ticket to the semifinals.

Stephan bagged his hat trick in that half as Shakira completed his brace with Niel Holtzahauzen, Franko Dylan and Jurgen Beddies also getting on the scoresheet in the convincing win.

Namibia will now face the winner of the Kenya versus Uganda clash in the semis.