U20 Barthes Trophy: The Hopes of a Nation

By James Njenga “Biggie”

It is the hope of every young person to one day don the national team colors and represent their nation. I know this because not so long ago, I had the same dream. A 16-year-old me always dreamt of pulling that red and green jersey on, belting out the tunes of the national anthem with such great passion, like I see them do on tv, and just enjoying my rugby on the grand stage.

To actualize it, we attended Kenya U19 trials at the KCB grounds in Ruaraka immediately after high school. Most of us did not make it but the fact that we got to be around such an environment changed our mindset.

See, there is something about training and playing with and against the best players in the country. You do not get to be in and around such players if you are not cut from the same cloth. To make it to the team you have to beat the best and that just elevates your mentality to another level.

The following year, I made the Nakuru RFC team that won the Titans Cup against KCB. To make that Nakuru team you had to be no slouch. In the pecking order, I was behind Kenya Simbas Internationals in form of Isaiah Nyariki and Giles Littlewood.

The team was also littered with great talent, the likes of Martin Owilah, Mike Okombe, Edwins Makori, etc. I can confidently say that being around the Chipu environment made me want to be the best and compete with the best.

Fast forward to 2019 and I got to attend my very first Barthes Trophy tournament at the KCB Grounds, Ruaraka. Paul Odera was five years deep into the Kenya U20 gig and even though he had a torrid time trying to upset continental giants Namibia in previous editions of the competition, 2019 was special. Something was cooking.

Upon his appointment, Odera and his technical bench launched an ambitious plan. A plan to win the elusive continental trophy that for a long time had been at the behest of the Namibians and while at it, get Kenya back to the Junior World Trophy a decade after their last involvement in the competition. By the time Kenya was hosting this tournament, Odera, and his team had mastered the murky waters of continental competitions.

Step one — Early preparation. Kenya’s achilles heel in previous competitions had been poor or late preparation. Teams were assembled late giving the team little to no time to gel. To correct this, Odera named his training squad early and even had some time to play a couple of preparation games including one against KCB, the reigning Kenya Cup champions then.

The composition of the team was also one of the things that Odera paid special attention to. In order to win, Odera went for pedigree. Players who had been tested and proven to be competitors at the highest levels.

They selected a team that was hungry to win, hungry to defy the odds and prove themselves in front of the home crowd. A team that had experience playing in the Kenya Cup as well as other top competitions in the world.

Most of these players have gone ahead to play for the senior side, the Kenya Simbas. The likes of Samuel Asati, Beldad Ogeta, Dominic Coulson, Andrew Siminyu, Emmanuel Silungi, Geoffrey Okwatch, Andrew Matoka Matoka, Samuel Were, etc. have gone ahead to become household names.

Not that Odera and his boys had it any easier in their triumph that year even though the competition offered by Tunisia in their opening fixture was a little bit disappointing. Chipu thrashed the North Africans 73–0 to book a date with Namibia in the final. On their part, Namibia had to get past Senegal, a task they were well prepared for as they dispatched the West Africans 45–12.

A few players were not available for Kenya in the first game due to the usual issues. One of them was Michele Brighetti. A dynamic player that could slot in anywhere across the backs. We all (rightly so) praise Matoka Matoka for his heroics with that final penalty under pressure, but I also believe Brighetti deserves his flowers too. He brought stability to a back line that was a little shaky even in the complete mauling of Tunisia.

Tries by Brian Amaitsa, Beldad Ogeta, and Bonface Ochieng’ coupled with two penalties by Matoka Matoka were enough, just barely, to see Kenya win the elusive continental title and go ahead to represent Kenya at the Junior World Trophy. Nothing can adequately describe the mood at the Den after Precious Pazani blew the final whistle. Nothing!

The importance of that win for Kenya cannot be overstated. The team went ahead to give a good account of themselves at the Junior World Trophy in Brazil just barely losing 48–34 to highly fancied Japan. (Kenya’s Tries: Geofrey Okwach 2, Ian Masheti, Ibrahiim Ayoo, and Timothy Omela; Conversions: Dominic Coulson 3; Penalty: Dominic Coulson.)

Last year, Kenya Simbas had a Rugby World Cup qualifying campaign, first through the African qualifiers and then through the repechage tournament. Most of those players selected had passed through the Barthes Trophy. In fact, seven out of the 31 players named for the Rugby World Cup repechage tournament were members of the 2019 team. These are Andrew Peter Siminyu, Samuel Asati, Timothy Omela, John Okoth, Geoffrey Okwach, Beldad Ogeta, and Ian Masheti.

It is 2023 and Kenya will be hosting the tournament, again. We are about to witness another emergence of close to 30 young and talented players. When utilized fully, there is no limit as to where these kids we get from the tournament can take us. Their potential is limitless. How immaculate could it be if the team that will take us to Australia 2027 would be made up of a bulk of players that have taken part in this tournament?

This is a tournament that represents hope. Hope for a nation that eats, sleeps, and bleeds rugby.

James Njenga “Biggier” is a former Nakuru RFC forward

Champions Zimbabwe name provisional squad for Barthes defense

Defending champions Zimbabwe have named a 36 man provisional squad for their title defense at this year’s Rugby Africa U20 Barthes Trophy in Nairobi from 22-30 April 2023.

The squad has eight returning players from last year’s successful team namely Bryan Chiang, Tanaka Gondomukandapi, Takunda Mudzingwa,Panashe Zuze Brendan Marume, Tanaka Chinyaga, Alex Nyamunda and Dion Khumalo.

The final squad of 28 will be named closer to the tournament.

Zimbabwe won last year’s title with a 19-14 victory over Namibia in an exciting final at Nairobi’s Nyayo National Stadium.

Zimbabwe Provisional Squad: Happias Zhou, Jerry Zisengwe, Gealan Jaricja, Bryan Chiang, Tawananyasha Bwanya, Leo Mutendi, Mazuva Gutu, Tadiwa Chinwada, Nqobile Manyara, Stanley Muraganwa, Tanaka Gondomukandapi, Huntley Masterson, Allan Mawunga, Vincent Chimwendo, Tanaka Ndoro, Halgar Muchenje, Shingirai Manyara, Tadiwanashe Marumisa, Takunda Mudzingwa, Kelvin Kaseke, Godfrey Zvinavashe, Panashe Zuze, Brendan Marume, Tanaka Chinyaga, Edward Sigauke, Kelton Kaseke, Shadreck Mandaza, Alex Nyamunda, Simbarashe Kanyangarara, Brendan Johnson, Kudakwashe Nyamushaya, Benoni Nhekairo, Dion Khumalo, Taonaishe Mapani, Panashe Mugorogodi, Tadiwanashe Unganani


Namibia reveal Barthes Trophy squad

Namibia have declared their squad to the Rugby Africa U20 Barthes Trophy taking place in Nairobi from 22-30 April 2023.

The former champions have two returning players from last season’s side that lost to Zimbabwe in the final as Ray –Eez Ferris and Owen Hawanga make the travelling party.

Namibia will be out to reclaim the title that they lost to Kenya in 2019 in Nairobi.

Namibia U20 Barthes Trophy Squad: Fillipus Tshuuya, Johan Brockman, Herman Coetzee, Lodewickus Karsten, Dandre Schreuder, Edward Drotsky, Hendrik de Beer, Theo Lintvelt, Nguvitja Tjaronda, Matthew Quinn, Michael Atkinson, Ray-Eez Ferris, Joe Corne Losper, Ferion Beukes, Salomo Martiz, Kisting Minyoi, Enrique Husselman, Dillion Kahmann, Armand Kotze, Ethan Koopman, Louis Steenkamp, Natie Janse van Rensburg, Owen Hawanga, Keanan Januarie, William Klazen, Manfred Garoeb, Nicolas Tromp, Divan Steyn  NON TRAVELLING RESERVES: Johaness Husselman, Richter Steenkamp, Jayden Van Zyl, Otja Auala, Johandre Dege, Breyton Beukes, Lucihano Gaingob, Damian Van Den Ross, Ethan Williams, Dhaamin Bassardien

Kenya continue with Barthes preps

A 39 man Kenya U20 squad has been in non-residential training for the Rugby Africa U20 Barthes Trophy set for 22-30 April 2023 in Nairobi.

The squad, under the tutelage of Curtis Olago has seven returning players from the side that finished third in last year’s tournament in Nairobi including David Mwangi, Mathias Osimbo, Felix Masega Chacha, Stanslous Shikoli, Laban Kipsang, George Otieno and Makaya Brian.  Another two players, Zephenes Obwanga and Iddo Kuta were part of the 2022 training squad.

Team Manager Peter Mutai said, “Training has been going on well. We are however monitoring the progress of Mathias Osimbo who is carrying an injury sustained during his side’s Kenya Cup fixture a few weeks ago. We will make a decision in the coming days.”

The final squad will be announced closer to the tournament.

Chipu Training Squad:

FORWARDS: Raymond Chacha (Strathmore Leos), Dennis Kisingu (Strathmore Leos), Makaya Brian (Mean Machine), Collins Ndambo (Daystar Falcons), George Otieno (Shamas), Mike Oduor (Daystar Falcons),Mark Lubira (USIU Martials), Jeremy Odhiambo (Catholic Monks), Gaylord Mgasi (Daystar Falcons), Ogutu Wycliffe (Daystar Falcons), Michael Jayson (Impala Saracens), John Asega (South Coast Pirates), Ahona Victor (Blak Blad), Andy Cole Omolo (Masinde Muliro), Eugene Etale (Unattached), Eugene Obat (Strathmore Leos), Nathan Tsindoli (Daystar Falcons), Laban Kipsang (Kenya Harlequin), Edmond Omondi ( Masinde Muliro), Jackton Omondi (Kabras Sugar), James Asanga (Menengai Oilers), Iddo Kuta (Kenya Harlequin), Stanslaus Shikoli (Strathmore Leos), Vincent Omondi (Kenya Harlequin), William Otondi (Binghamton University, USA)

BACKS: Patrick Wainaina (Kenya Harlequin), Zephenes Obwanga (Catholic Monks), David Nyanginge (Northern Suburbs),Brian Mwenda (Strathmore Leos),  Collins Munyasa (Impala Saracens), Eddy Wambugu (Daystar Falcons), Mike Wamalwa (Catholic Monks), Felix Masega Chacha (Mwamba), Mathias Osimbo (Kabras Sugar), David Mwangi (Kenya Harlequin), Victor Mola (Strathmore Leos), Kerry Otieno (Mwamba), Raphael Wanga (Zetech Oaks), George Omondi (Catholic Monks)

Four changes for Kenya ahead of clash with Madagascar

Barthes action returns to Nairobi

The Rugby Africa U20 Barthes Trophy returns to Nairobi for a fourth time this April after previous editions in 2019,2021 & 2022.

The tournament, which serves as the Africa U20 Championship will be played from 22nd to 30th April at the Nyayo National Stadium and brings together eight of Africa’s leading U20 sides battling it out for the overall title and a ticket to this year’s World Rugby Junior Trophy which also takes place in Nairobi in July this year.

Leading the charge in Nairobi are defending champions Zimbabwe, last year’s beaten finalists Namibia, hosts Kenya and Madagascar.

Other teams that will be in Nairobi are Uganda, Zambia, Tunisia and the Ivory Coast.

The tournament will be played on a knockout basis with over three match days

Quartefinals 22nd April

Semifinals 26th April

Finals 30th April

*Match schedules and ticketing information will be released in subsequent communications.

It’s a Namibia – Zimbabwe final

Namibia ended Kenya’s reign as defending champions with a 16-5 victory in the Rugby Africa U20 Barthes Trophy tournament at the Nyayo National Stadium on Wednesday 13 April 2022.

The Namibians took a 6-0 lead into the interval courtesy of two penalties from skipper Oela Blaauw in a half that saw Chipu waste several opportunities to get points on the board, Tonny Oketch missing three kickable penalties. The Kenyan forwards, despite their dominance, were also not efficient in the final third, twice fumbling on the Namibian try line, a script that would be followed throughout the game.

Blaauw then converted Niel Holtzhausen’s try to put Namibia 16-0 up after the break.

Kenya’s incessant pressure failed to bear fruit, this despite having Namibia on the back foot for the better part of the second half, spurred on by the inclusion of second half replacements George Otieno, Anderson Oduor, John Aswani and Joseph Ayiro.

Ayiro would score a late try, played in by David Mwangi but his efforts proved to be too little, too late as their reign as champions came to an end.

Namibia will face Zimbabwe in Sunday’s final. Zimbabwe made it to the final with a 32-3 victory over Madagascar.

Elson Gabriel put the Malagasy ahead with an early penalty before Zimbabwe responded with Brendan Marume’s 12 point haul coming off 4 penalties, Tanaka Gondomukandapi’s brace of tries complimented by tries from captain Takudzwa Musingwini and Tamuka Kambani.

Declared Squads for Match Day 2

Squads have been declared for match day 2 action at the Rugby Africa U20 Barthes Trophy on Wednesday 13 April 2022 at the Nyayo National Stadium.

The action kicks off at 9.00am EAT with Cote d’Ivoire and Uganda meeting in the 5th place semifinal, paving way for the second 5th place semifinal between Tunisia and Zambia.

Hosts and defending champions Kenya will then take on Namibia in the first semifinal at 2.00pm before last year’s runners up, Madagascar take on Zimbabwe in the second semifinal at 4.30pm.

Cote d’ Ivoire v Uganda | 9.00am | 5th place semifinal

Koutoun Ange Boyo1Alexander Byaruhanga
Wally Toungara2Herbert Champara
Brouhana Dianda3Alvin Rukundo
Ibrahim Traore4Brian Wandera
Jonathan Dongo5Joshua Adebua
Mamadou Konate6Charles Mwadeghu
Issoufou Diallo7Kevin Ampaire
Coulibally Agnib8Jeremy Biyinzika
Abdoulaziz Ouatarra9Alvin Mwebaze
Abdoul Karembiri10Daniel Okello ( C)
Oumarou Sigue11Joseph Mwesigwa
Liuson Valentin N’zoko ( c )12Yasin Waswa
Oumar Kante13Emma Ochan
Marcel Dadi Odre14Steven Kalema
Ismael Nacanado15Michael Kalyango
Yao Mammadou Ouatarra16Edward Emiemu
Madany Traore17Joel Nkonte
Moussa Traore18Emmanuel Kiyaga
Bilaly Samake19David Bajjanaseko
Ilyass Konate20Blaise Ochieng
Kouadio Koucaou21Hashim Kabogoza
Alpha Soumahoro22Hossana Opileni
Ahmed Gramoute23Edrine Lemeriga

Tunisia v Zambia | 11.30am | 5th place semifinal

Hossem Ktata1Sekou Ibrahim
Mohammed Azozi2Lukundo Silwamba
Amine Baya3Dimus Kabengele
Oussama Baya4Daniel Habasimbi
Mohammed Khardani5Charles Mwemba
Mohammed Bel Hadj Youssef6Cassidy Chate
Mohamed Salah Ben Rjeb7Fredrick Musonda
Bahaeddine Abid8Miracle Simpasa
Mohammed Ali Jlassi9Kelvin Sichula
Mohammed Riahi10Mwila Mulenga
Aymen Hamdaoui11Fred Mtonga
Malek el Mahdi ( c )12Chileshe Mulenga ( c )
Adel Bahri13Swaba Chalelwa
Ilyes Ayari14Paul Zulu
Adem Grami15Redson Lukwesa
Bayrem Ben Ticha16Richard Kabengele
Mohaimen Rouached17Hanshel Chibale
Mohamed Znati18Nkhuka Mpande
Houssem Ben Yahya19Peter Mwansa
Nouredinne Dahmoul20Evans Fumbelo
Ahmed Salmi21Mwale Mulenga
Ahmed Mrabti22Shibunga Chatioka
Ahmed Houssem23Riaan Nsokoshi

Kenya v Namibia | 2.00pm | Semifinal

Nicholas Okullo1Jano Otto
Idd Ganguma2Friedrich Grobbelaar
Whilhite Musisi3Filippus Tshuuya
Elvis Persian4Conhill Dragohoendler
Stanslaus Shikoli5Gregory Namaseb
Gabriel Ayimba6Ray Feris
Tyson Maina7Alexander Jansen
John Baraka ( c)8Riaan Grove
Emmanuel Opondo9Oela Blaauw
Samuel Mwaura10Raschano Van Rooi
Roy Mulievi11Owen Hawanga
Felix Chacha12Patrick Karsten
Mathias Osimbo13Niel Holtzhausen
David Mwangi14Jonathan Hanekom
Tonny Oketch15Geraldo Beukes
George Otieno16Franko Pearson
Randy Wamah17Bernd Beddies
Brian Makaya18Feliciano Lauha
John Aswani19Henri Rossouw
Laban Kipsang20Darren Beukes
Winston Macharia21Brian Bayer
Anderson Oduor22Adriaan Steenkamp
Joseph Ayiro23Quirione Majiedt

Madagascar v Zimbabwe | 4.30pm | Semifinal

Tahiana  Raharisamimanana1Veshal Jasi
Bienevue Rakotosalama2Marlon Guwuriro
Joeli Rakotoniaina3Tomuvoga Msasanure
Gervais Rakotonirina4Tamuka Kambani
Fano Rakotonandrasana5Simbarashe Siraha
Alain Rakotovao6Tanaka Ndoro
Fosy Rakotoniaina7Denzel Maramba
Rojosoa Randriamanantena ( c )8Tanaka Gondomukandapi
Fiononana Rolland Rakotoson9Shadrick Mandaza
Hery Njaka Rasolofoniaina10Bredan Marume
Tsiaroniaina Michel Rakotoarijaona11Tanaka Ndabambi
Rojonirina Rakotondrazaza12Alex Nyamunda
Fidisoa Razanaparany13Tawanda Matipano
Flosi Rakotoniaina14Josiah Borerwe
Elson Gabriel15Simbarashe Kanyangara
Laja Andriamasinjanahary16Brian Chiang
Herve Rasoarantonirina17Tadiwa Chinwada
Tongasoa Razafindrahaja18Farai Madzima
Todisoa Randriamasinavalona19Muzuma Gutu
Safidi Anjarasoa Andriamihaja20Tavonga Ablant
Philibert Sederick Romaroson21Dion Khumalo
Guy Ernest Henry Randranaivo22Takudzwa Musingwini ( C )
Zacharie Alain Jose Tojoniaina23Tendai Chimyama

Venue: Nyayo National Stadium

Tickets: Ksh 300 (regular), Ksh 1000 (VIP) – available on mtickets.com

How to watch: K24plus and Rugby Africa Facebook page

Semifinal pairings confirmed

The semifinal pairings for the Rugby Africa U20 Barthes Trophy are now known following completion of the quarterfinals on Saturday 9 April 2022.

Hosts and defending champions Kenya will take on former champions Namibia in the first semifinal, paving way for the second clash between Madagascar and Zimbabwe.

Action between Kenya and Uganda

These matches will be preceded by classification matches pitting Ivory Coast against Tunisia and Zambia against Uganda.

Match Day 1 Results, Saturday 9 April 2022

Namibia 62 Ivory Coast 0

Tunisia 18 Zimbabwe 19

Madagascar 26 Zambia 14

Kenya 54 Uganda 20

Rugby Africa U20 Barthes Trophy Match Day 2, Wednesday 13 April 2022

9.00am Classification Match: Ivory Coast v Uganda

11.30am Classification Match: Zambia v Tunisia

2.00pm Semifinal: Kenya v Namibia

4.30pm Semifinal: Madagascar v Zimbabwe

Venue: Nyayo National Stadium

Tickets: Ksh 300 (regular), Ksh 1000 (VIP) – available on mtickets.com

How to watch: K24plus and Rugby Africa Facebook page

Namibia targeting glory in Nairobi

NAMIBIA are targeting honours when they compete at the upcoming 2022 Rugby Africa Barthés U20 Trophy in Nairobi, Kenya.

Head coach Chrysander Botha named his travelling team yesterday.

The tournament is a welcome distraction for the youngsters who missed out on the action altogether last year after several members of the team tested positive for Covid-19. The year before that Namibia fell 21-18 to Kenya in the final.

They will be looking to reclaim the title and underline their pedigree on the continent between 9 and 17 April.

“We’re going to Kenya to play our hearts out. The past few weeks were a bit difficult for us to get each other and bond as a team to prepare for the tour. But I believe we will do well,” captain Rowan Jansen said.

Only three teams participated last year due to Covid-19 interruptions, with Kenya edging Madagascar 21-20 to retain the trophy.

This year, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Madagascar, Namibia, Senegal, Tunisia, Zambia and Zimbabwe have all confirmed they will be vying for the title.

“This is a platform for our boys to go out there and just do well. I don’t think any team prepares just to go and participate; we’re going over there to win this tournament,” Botha said.

“Yes, we did lose in the previous tournament, but that just goes to show that development of rugby in Africa is happening at the moment,” he said of their rivals rapid improvement.

“We need to strategically plan how we’re going to move forward because the rest of Africa is catching up to us, especially the likes of Kenya and Zimbabwe.

“We need to invest all our time and energy in the development of our players. Not just u20, but at the grassroots level as well.”

Namibia face the fast-improving Ivory Coast on 9 April in their first match. Their next opponent will be confirmed after the opening day’s results.

That fixture will be played on 13 April after which the final will be contested on 17 April when the ranking for u20 will be determined.

“It’s a difficult route as we face Ivory Coast, then possibly Kenya and then Zimbabwe in the final. But, if you want to be the best then you have to beat the best, as they say. We’re planning on going all out and we’re going there to represent Namibia and do everyone proud,” Botha said.

Namibia Squad: Leonardo Bayer, Bernd Beddies, Geraldo Beukes, Darren Beukes, Oela Blaauw, Conwille Draghoender, Ray-Eez Feris, Frederich Grobbelaar, Riaan Grove, Owen Hawanga, Niel Holtzhausen, Rowan Jansen, Alexander Jansen, Patrick Karsten, Quirine Majiedt, Lucky Mauha, Upahee Muhuura, Gregory Namaseb, Jan Otto, Franco Pearson, Henri Rossouw, Iyambo Tshuuya, Rashano van Rooi and Janes van Zyl.

Technical team: Chrysander Botha (coach), Jacobus Husselmann (team manager), Wilfred Nico Bezuidehoudt (team doctor).

-The Namibian

U20 Barthes Trophy ticket sales commence

Ticket sales for the Rugby Africa U20 Barthes Trophy are now open.

The tournament takes place from 9th to 17th April 2022 at the Nyayo National Stadium in Nairobi, Kenya.

Regular tickets will cost Ksh 300 with VIP tickets retailing at Ksh 1000 per match day.

Tickets are available on https://mtickets.com/buy/barthes-trophy/1568 

Rugby Africa U20 Barthes Trophy Fixtures

MATCH DAY 1, Saturday 9 April 2022

QF1 9.00am Namibia v Cote d’Ivoire

QF2 11.30am Tunisia v Zimbabwe

QF3 2.00pm Madagascar v Zambia

QF4 4.30pm Kenya v Uganda

MATCH DAY 2, Wednesday 13 April 2022

CM1 9.00am Loser QF1 v Loser QF2

CM2 11.30am Loser QF3 v Loser QF4

SF1 2.00pm Winner QF1 v Winner QF4

SF2 4.30pm Winner QF2 v Winner QF3

MATCH DAY 3, Sunday 17 April 2022

PO1 9.00am Loser CM1 v Loser CM2

PO2 11.30am Winner CM1 v Winner CM2

Bronze Medal Match: 2.00pm Loser SF1 v Loser SF2

Final: 4.30pm Winner SF1 v Winner SF2

Uganda declare their squad to Nairobi

Uganda have named a 32 man travelling squad for the Rugby Africa U20 Barthes Trophy taking place in Nairobi from 9th to 17th April at the Nyayo National Stadium. The squad, which features 25 players and 7 officials is expected in Nairobi on Thursday morning.

Props: Byaruhanga Alexander, Nkonte Joel Hosea, Louis Oboi, Emma Kiyaga,Alvin Rukundo

Hookers: Sebidandi Derrick, Edward Emiemu, Champara Herbert

Locks: Tumwebaze Winston, Wandera Brian, Mwadeghu Charles Ryan

Flankers: Thembo Jeremy B, Ochieng Blaise, Adebua Vani Joshua, Ampaire Kevin

Half Backs: Michael Kalyango, Sentongo Robert, Okello Daniel Malcolm

Centers: Kabogoza Hashim, Yasin Waswa, Ochan Emma

Back Three: Steven Kalema, Edrin Lemeriga, Kansiime Joseph Mwesigwa, Opileni Hossana

Management: Lumu Richard (Head Coach),Martial Tchumkam (Assistant Coach), Etuket Dennis (Team Manager), Patrick Omoding (Assistant Team Manager), Noah Kayongo (Physio), Musa Rajab (Team Doctor), Jude Rwakayanga ( Conditioning Coach)

Photo Credit: Uganda Rugby Union

2022 U20 Barthes Trophy fixtures released

The Rugby Africa U20 Barthes Trophy gets underway this Saturday at Nairobi’s Nyayo National Stadium.

The tournament, which serves as the Africa’s U20 championship features eight teams and will be played on a knockout basis over three match days.

There will be four quarterfinal fixtures on Saturday 9 April 2022 with the semifinals set for Wednesday 13 April at the same venue.

The title decider will be played on Sunday 17 April.

Former champions Namibia will get the tournament underway when they face Cote d’Ivoire in the opening fixture, paving the way for the second clash between Tunisia and Zimbabwe.

Madagascar, losing finalists in 2021 will take on Zambia in the day’s third fixture before hosts and defending champions Kenya take on next door neighbors Uganda in the final quarterfinal fixture.

Meanwhile, this year’s tournament is open to the public. Regular tickets will retail at Ksh 300 with VIP tickets retailing at Ksh 1000 per match day. Further ticketing information will be released in a subsequent communication.

Rugby Africa U20 Barthes Trophy

Match Day 1, Saturday 9 April 2022

QF1 9.00am Namibia v Cote d’Ivoire

QF2 11.30am Tunisia v Zimbabwe

QF3 2.00pm Madagascar v Zambia

QF4 4.30pm Kenya v Uganda

Match Day 2, Wednesday 13 April 2022

CM1 9.00am Loser QF1 v Loser QF2

CM2 11.30am Loser QF3 v Loser QF4

SF1 2.00pm Winner QF1 v Winner QF4

SF2 4.30pm Winner QF2 v Winner QF3

Match Day 3, Sunday 17 March 2022

PO1 9.00am Loser CM1 v Loser CM2

PO2 11.30am Winner CM1 v Winner CM2

Bronze Medal Match: 2.00pm Loser SF1 v Loser SF2

Final: 4.30pm Winner SF1 v Winner SF2

Kenya successfully defend U20 Barthes Trophy in Nairobi

Kenya successfully defend U20 Barthes Trophy in Nairobi

Kenya U20 Vice-Captain Matoka Matoka put on a man-of-the-match performance as Kenya beat Madagascar 21-20 in the final match of the U20 Barthes Trophy played at the Nyayo National Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

Both teams went into the match buoyed by huge wins over third-placed Senegal and everyone had their work cut out if they were to be crowned champions.

Tries from Maxwell Atera, Matoka Matoka and Captain John Baraka complimented by two penalties from Matoka Matoka were enough, in the end, to cancel out Madagascar’s three tries, one conversion and one penalty.

Kenya had already qualified for the 2022 World Junior Trophy and now they will feel they are more than prepared for a tougher test.

Speaking after the game, an elated John Baraka could not hide his joy as he attributed the team’s success to teamwork. “The game was a bit tense in the first half, the scores were tight but we managed to widen the gap in the second half,” says Baraka.

“We gave in to pressure in the last minutes but in the end our teamwork and defense won it for us,” adds Baraka.

Former Kenya international scrum half Peter Mutai who is the team manager is glad they managed to win despite the late flurry by the Junior Makis. “We went off the script but we were lucky we started the game on a high, much better than our last game against Senegal. We succumbed to pressure in the final minutes, it is a final anyway but the good thing is that we went ahead early,” says Mutai.

“Congratulations to Madagascar, we respect a good challenge. Those guys play like sevens using their width so much. At the end of the day a win is a win so congratulations to the boys,” concludes Mutai.

Kenya has now successfully defended the title they last won in 2019 at the KCB Sports Club when they beat Namibia 21-18 in the final.

-James Njenga/U20 Barthes Trophy Media Team

Plenty of changes for Madagascar ahead of crucial tie against Kenya

Plenty of changes for Madagascar ahead of crucial tie against Kenya

Coach Rakotoarivelo Mboazafy Noé has made two personnel changes and four positional changes to his squad that will face hosts and defending champions Kenya in the final tie of the U20 Barthes Trophy at the Nyayo National Stadium.

From the squad that defeated Senegal 34-3 last Saturday, Rakotoniaina Flosy Tsiorinirina Marcel and Rakotoarijaona Tsiaroniaina Michel drop to the bench and their places are taken up by Rakotoniaina Johann Anael and Randriatiana Francky Kefu.

The dynamic and electric midfield duo of Razanamparany Fidisoa and Rakotomalala Salotra Lucas remains intact while there is a new half-back partnership of Randrianantenaina Erica Bruno and Ranaivoharison Naina Jean Frederic.

Salotra Lucas already has a brace to his name and is joint-second in the try-scoring list together with Kenyan duo of Tyson Maina and William Opaka.

There are also a number of positional changes as the Junior Makis aim to dethrone Kenya on home soil. Captain Rakotonirina Setra Solofoniaina moves from hooker to tighthead prop, pushing Rakotosalama Bienvenue Angelo to the base of the scrum.

Other positional changes see Randriamanantena Tojosoa Harifetra move from the eighth man slot to openside flank while Rahajanirina Lionel Hadjy moves from the right-wing to the left-wing.

Madagascar will have to win Sunday’s match to be crowned the new U20 Barthes Champions.

Madagascar’s Team vs Kenya

1.Andriamasinjanahary Lanja Fiononantsoa,  2. Rakotoniaina Johann Anael 3. Rakotonirina Setra Solofoniaina 4. Razafimahatratra Maurice 5. Rajeriarison Miaritanjona Mickael 6. Rakotovao Alain 7. Randriamanantena Tojosoa Harifetra 8. Rakotosalama Bienvenue Angelo 9. Randrianantenaina Erica Bruno 10. Ranaivoharison Naina Jean Frederic 11. Rahajanirina Lionel Hadjy 12. Razanamparany Fidisoa 13. Rakotomalala Salotra Lucas 14. Randriatiana  Francky Kefu 15. Hasina Nomenjanahary Elson Gabriel


16. Rasoarantonirina Herve 17. Randriamasinavalona Todisoa Sabany 18. Rakotoniaina Flosy Tsiorinirina Marcel 19. Rakotonirina Harentsoa Nifaliana 20. Rakotoson Fiononana Rolland 21. Rasolofoniaina Hery Njaka 22. Rakotoarijaona Tsiaroniaina Michel

-James Njenga/U20 Barthes Trophy Media Team

Four changes for Kenya ahead of clash with Madagascar

Four changes for Kenya U20 ahead of clash with Madagascar

The Kenya U20 squad to take on Madagascar in Sunday’s U20 Barthes Trophy match at the Nyayo National Stadium has been named.

There are five changes in total to the squad that won 50-3 in the opening fixture against Senegal. One change is positional while the other four are personnel changes. Three of those changes are in the forwards while only one affects the backline.

Front row Tom Amoya, lock Edwin Nyachio and back row Tyson Maina all get starting berths while fly-half Owain Ashley comes into the squad as an injury replacement and heads straight into the starting line up.

This means that the forward trio of Mohamed Khaidar, Andrew Wangila, and Collins Indeche is joined by Arnold Onzere on the bench while Nicholas Okullo is out of the matchday squad completely.

The only positional change sees Reinhardt Mwalati move from the blind side of the scrum to the open side to accommodate flanker Tyson Maina. Owain Ashley replaces Amon Wamalwa who is out on medical grounds.

Vice-Captain Matoka Matoka leads the point-scoring charts after two matchdays with 15 points from 1 try, 2 penalties and 2 conversions. Matoka will be joined by William Opaka and Anderson Oduor in the back three.

Kenya has to beat Madagascar to defend the title they won back in 2019.

Kenya’s Squad to face Madagascar

1. Wilhite Mususi, 2. Maxwell Atera, 3. Tom Amoyah, 4. Edwin Nyachio, 5. Ibrahim Ayodi, 6.Tyson Maina, 7.Reinhardt Mwalati, 8. John Baraka (captain), 9. Cornelius Mokoro, 10.Owain Ashley, 11. Matoka Matoka, 12. Felix Chacha, 13. Richel Wangila, 14.William Opaka, 15.Anderson Oduor


16. Celestine Mboi, 17. Javan Olando 18. Mohamed Khaidar, 19. Laban Kipsang, 20. Collins Indeche, 21.Arnold Onzere 22. Shem Okola, 23. Roy Mulievi

Mutai counts on Chipu’s systems ahead of Barthes Trophy decider

Defending Champions Kenya opened their U20 Barthes Trophy campaign with a huge 50-3 win over Senegal on Saturday 26 June 2021 and will be looking to replicate the same performance when they face Madagascar in the last fixture of this year’s tournament.

Kenya unlike Madagascar has been in camp for almost three weeks and the Team Manager, former Kenyan International scrum-half Peter Mutai believes this will work to their advantage.

Peter Mutai

“The camp has been good; we have gotten to be together for the past three weeks. We have worked on our systems and polished the mistakes we made against Senegal and we are now working on a system to take on Madagascar,” says Mutai.

Chipu sat out last weekend’s game and Mutai is confident they have enough knowledge on Madagascar’s game to develop a winning formula. “The team, as well as the technical bench, has watched Madagascar’s game against Senegal and it has helped us in preparing,” adds Mutai.

The game on Sunday will be a winner takes it all kind of game and the defending champions are not taking any chances. “We are leaving nothing to chance. Madagascar is better than Senegal so we expect a really tough game. We are really prepared,” says Mutai.

Kenya U20s huddle up before their 50-3 win over Senegal at the Nyayo National Stadium on Saturday 26 June 2021

Physicality and dominance have been pillars of the Kenyan game for years and that might just be on display again this weekend. “We want to be very brutal in our set-pieces and very clinical in our finishing,” says Mutai.

Senegal gave Kenya a run for their money in the first half of their game. This time round, Mutai is hoping for a different approach from the start.

“Sometimes it takes a while to get going and the team might find it difficult to score. We are hoping for a quicker and faster start this weekend. That is why we have named a strong starting fifteen and an even stronger bench,” says Mutai.

Kenya will be using this tournament as preparation for next year’s Junior World Trophy. There is really no pressure to perform according to the former Kenya International. “The boys have come a long way; the coaches have done a great job. We know some boys will leave the team after the tournament but we still have a core of around fifteen players we will build on next year. So far we do not really feel any pressure.”

“For us it is all about the system. The system helps you beat defenses as well as build defenses. The system also helps you score points that is why we are keen on developing our very own full-functional system of play,” concludes Mutai.

The final ranking will be determined after the game. Kenya will take on Madagascar in the 1.30 pm kick-off on Sunday at the Nyayo National Stadium in what has been dubbed the “Super Sunday.”

-James Njenga/U20 Barthes Trophy Media Team

Madagascar expect physical battle against Kenya in Barthes Trophy decider

Nairobi, Friday 9 July 2021….Despite a late arrival for the U20 Barthes Trophy in Nairobi, the Junior Maki’s went ahead and shocked Senegal with a 34-3 victory in their first game at the Nyayo National Stadium.

The Junior Makis have certainly been impressive with their fleet feet and fast-paced rugby.

They head into this weekend’s fixture against Kenya refreshed after a week of recovery and preparations and the camp is looking lively according to skipper and talisman, Setra Solofoniaina Andriamasinjanahary.

“We have had more than enough time to recover. I am feeling okay and the whole team is also fine and ready to go this weekend,” says Setra. These two sides are no strangers to each other having last met in the same competition on 28 March 2018 at the Hage Geingob Stadium in Windhoek. Kenya won the game 51-13.

Action between Madagascar and Senegal on 3 July 2021 at the Nyayo National Stadium in Nairobi. Madagascar won this clash 34-3

The coach, Rakotoarivelo Mboazafy Noé insists that they are here for the trophy. “We want nothing less than to be crowned U20 champions of Africa.”

Sunday’s game against hosts and defending champions Chipu of Kenya is winner takes it all and Setra, and his team, is anxiously waiting for the moment. “We have been waiting for this moment since we played Senegal. Our training sessions have been geared towards countering Kenya’s strengths and we cannot wait,” adds Setra.

Despite their impressive showing against Senegal last weekend, Setra and his coach are not blind to the fact that the Kenyans are bigger and they have devised a way to counter that aspect. “The Kenyans are big, we are smaller so we have devised our own trick to beat them, we just have to wait for Sunday,” concludes Setra.

Madagascar were 34-3 winners over Senegal in U20 Barthes Trophy action at the Nyayo National Stadium on 3 July 2021

Madagascar will be relying heavily on influential center Salotra Lucas Rakotomalala who scored a brace of tries against Senegal and is joint-second on the tournament’s try-scoring charts.

The team has been training in a bio-bubble environment the whole tournament and despite not being able to move around Nairobi, Setra is happy with the City under the sun. “Nairobi is a very good place. Our stay in Kenya so far has been very good. We have no complaints,” adds Setra.

The tournament is being played in a round-robin format and the final rankings will be determined after the game.

Madagascar will take on Kenya in the 1.30 pm kick-off on Sunday 11 July in what has been dubbed the “Super Sunday.”

-James Njenga/U20 Barthes Trophy Media Team

Top point scorers after match day two

Kenya utility back Matoka Matoka leads the points scoring charts at the 2021 U20 Barthes Trophy after two rounds of action at Nairobi’s Nyayo National Stadium on 26th June and 3rd July.

A total of 90 points have been scored in the competition thus far, coming off 14 tries, 4 penalties and 4 conversions. No drop goal has been scored yet.

Matoka has 15 points coming off 1 try, 2 conversions and 2 penalties.

Three players are on 10 points namely Madagascar’s Salotra Lucas Rakotomalala and the Kenyan duo of William Opaka and Tyson Juma. The trio also collectively leads the top try scorer’s chart having scored 2 tries apiece.

Four Madagascar players namely Erica Bruno Randrianantenaina,Elson Gabriel Nomenjanahary Hasina,Francky Kefu Randriatiana and Alain Alexandre Randriafara as well as Kenyans Reinhard Ngaira, Ibrahim Ayodi and Anderson Oduor each have 5 points, having scored a try apiece.

The Senegalese duo of Ameth Sall and Mamadou Nguissaly Sarr both have 3 points, each having landed a penalty in their team’s losses to Kenya and Madagascar respectively.

The Madagascar duo of Fiononona Rolland Rakotoson and Lionel Hadjy Rahajanirina round off the scorers charts, each scoring 2 points from conversions in their team’s 34-3 win over Senegal on Saturday 3 July 2021.

The actions comes to a close on Sunday 11 July 2021 when defending champions Kenya and Madagascar face off in a winner takes all clash at the Nyayo National Stadium to determine the 2021 U20 Barthes Trophy champion.

Matoka MatokaKENYA122015
Salotra Lucas RakotomalalaMADAGASCAR200010
William OpakaKENYA200010
Tyson JumaKENYA200010
Erica Bruno RandrianantenainaMADAGASCAR10005
Elson Gabriel Nomenjanahary HasinaMADAGASCAR10005
Francky Kefu RandriatianaMADAGASCAR10005
Alain Alexandre RandriafaraMADAGASCAR10005
Reinhard NgairaKENYA10005
Ibrahim AyodiKENYA 10005
Anderson OduorKENYA10005
Ameth SallSENEGAL00103
Mamadou Nguissaly SarrSENEGAL00103
Fiononona Rolland RakotosonMADAGASCAR01002
Lionel Hadjy RahajanirinaMADAGASCAR 01002

Matoka, Salotra shine bright in Nairobi

The U20 Barthes Trophy kicked off in Nairobi on Saturday 26 June 2021 with a clash between hosts Kenya and Senegal who were third place finishers the last time the competition was held in 2019.

When the action got underway at Nairobi’s Nyayo National Stadium, it was Kenyan winger Andrew Matoka who got the scoring underway, landing the tournament’s first eight points through a try and penalty. It will be recalled that it was Matoka who scored the last points of the 2019 competition, kicking Kenya to a 21-18 win over Namibia that saw them crowned the new Africa U20 champions and in the process, claiming Africa’s sole ticket to that year’s World Rugby Junior Trophy in Brazil.

His contribution with boot and ball in this year’s opener accounted for 15 of Kenya’s points in the 50-3 win over Senegal as the youngster, who has also been capped at test level for Kenya used the experience gained in recent years to calm the nerves of his team mates, many of whom are playing in their first U20 Barthes Trophy.

Action between Madagascar and Senegal

Not to be outdone was Madagascar’s Salotra Rokomalala Lucas who had a blinder of game when his side took on Senegal in match day two action at the same venue on Saturday 3 July 2021.

Quick thinking from the Junior Makis inside center saw him execute a deft chip that was expertly claimed by scrum half Erica Bruno who touched down thirty five seconds into the tie, scoring the fastest try of the tournament thus far.

Lucas would be rewarded with two tries either side of half time as Magadascar consigned Senegal to a 34-3 defeat.

When he was not scoring tries, Lucas was at the center of everything creative from Madagascar, his evasive running and elusive pace a joy to watch.

Kenya and Madagascar will clash on Sunday to determine the winner of the 2021 U20 Barthes Trophy and it will be exciting to watch these two players come up against each other as the next generation of African rugby stars continue with their quest for success in Nairobi.

Madagascar off to a winning start

Madagascar’s Junior Makis began their U20 Barthes Trophy campaign in style, blowing away Senegal 34-3 at the Nyayo National Stadium in Nairobi on Saturday 3 July 2021.

Scrum half Erica Bruno scored a converted try thirty five seconds after kickoff, pouncing on the clever chip from outside center Salotra Lucas to touch down for the game’s opener.

Madagascar with their pre-match ritual

They continued to excite with their fancy footwork and high intensity rugby, and inevitably went further ahead, first from the boot of fullback Elson Gabriel who drilled home a penalty before Lucas finally got his try.

Asane Ndiaye drilled home a penalty for Senegal in the closing stages of the firsthalf, Madagascar taking the 15-3 lead into the break.

Second half action saw the Indian Ocean islanders up the ante, working the ball off a quickly taken line out, blindside flank Alain Rakotovao’s incisive running resulting in a try, Gabriel converting to put Madagascar 22-3 up.

They scored two more tries, Lucas landing his brace after Madagascar did well to recycle the ball, Gabriel converting to see Madagascar leading Senegal 29-3.

Action between Madagascar and Senegal

Replacement back row Francky Kefu finished off a flowing move, scoring at the death as the game ended 34-3 in Madagascar’s favor. 

Speaking after the game, Madagascar’s Coach Rakotoarivelo Mboazafy Noé said, “The game was good, I am very happy we won. We are very grateful to Kenya for organizing such a good tournament.”

It was sweet revenge for the Makis of Madagascar who avenged their 34-32 loss to Senegal in the same competition in 2015. The win however did not come without mistakes. “We made a lot of mistakes in the game and this week we will be working on that before our next game,” adds Noé.

“Everyone in Madagascar was very happy. It is a big motivation to the President of Madagascar too to continue supporting the sport financially and with all the resources that we need for future tournaments “concluded Noé.

Madagascar will now face hosts Kenya in the last match of the round-robin tournament on Sunday 11 July at the same venue.

Madagascar ready to rumble at this year’s U20 Barthes Trophy in Nairobi

The Madagascar U20 team arrived in Nairobi on Wednesday evening and will take part in the 2021 U20 Barthes Trophy against Senegal and hosts Kenya at the Nyayo National Stadium.

Madagascar are late entrants into the tournament after having troubles traveling due to a closed air space necessitate by an upsurge in coronavirus cases in the island nation.

Their first game comes fast against 2019’s U20 Barthes Trophy second runners up Senegal U20.  It is not the first time these two sides are playing each other in this competition, their last encounter dating back to 2015. Senegal emerged 34-32 victors in what was a high-scoring yet very close encounter. 

The captains pose for a group photo

Madagascar’s team Captain, SetraSolofoniaina is optimistic that they will come good on Saturday. “We have played Senegal before, we know how they play and we have certainly improved as a team since our last match with them,” says Setra.

The Malagasy boys are aware that they will be facing a wounded Senegal U20 who lost their opening match 50-3 against the hosts Kenya last Saturday and will be looking to tread carefully.

“I will not disclose a lot but we have a game plan to tackle Senegal and we are sure it will work come Saturday afternoon,” concludes Setra.

Madagascar U20 will take on Senegal U20 in a 1.30 pm kickoff at the Nyayo National Stadium as part of an action-packed “Super Saturday”. The other games on offer are: Kenya Lionesses vs Madagascar (RAC) at 11 am and Kenya vs Senegal (RAC) at 4 pm.

Beldad Ogeta in full flight against the Namibians in the 2019 final of the U20 Barthes Trophy in Nairobi

Beldad Ogeta: U20 Barthes Trophy a stepping stone to greater things

Lots of people never forget their firsts. Their first time driving, their first time picking up a rugby ball, and certainly not their first time donning the national team jersey and going ahead to win a major tournament that had proven elusive for others in the past. This is the story of Beldad Ogeta, currently one of Kenya’s most prolific wingers.

Beldad first picked up a rugby ball at Bungoma High School, after which he joined one of the country’s top clubs, the Menengai Oilers. Back then, the Oilers were a championship team, and his raw power and directness are probably some of the qualities that turned the heads of the coaches at the Oilers.

They probably saw him as a weapon to unlock stubborn defenses. A weapon they utilized effectively even after they gained promotion to the Kenya Cup.

It, therefore, did not take very long for the then Kenya U20 management to notice him, and he was called in for trials. “I did not believe it (the callup) at first, it had always been my dream to play for Kenya at any level, and I knew this was just the beginning,” says Beldad, now an accomplished Kenya Simbas International.

He made it to the training squad, then the final squad that was to take part in the 2019 U20 Barthes Trophy tournament, and eventually, he made it to Paul Odera’s first 15 for the tournament. His tenacious power runs with the ball in hand eventually helping Kenya wrestle the championship away from the Namibians at a packed KCB Grounds. He scored a brilliant try, by the way…


But what made that team tick? “Most of us who made the team had already met in high school games, so it was easy for us to form a connection. We also bonded well given that we had a residential camp at Brookhouse International School just before the tournament.”

According to Beldad, three key things played a role in Kenya winning the coveted U20 Barthes Trophy. “As a team, we really wanted to win, and then the fans came through for us. Of course, playing at home has its advantages. The fans showed up and rallied behind us, which is something that gave us the confidence we needed for those tense moments,” adds Beldad.

“We also wanted to make history. Our coaches kept on motivating us throughout the tournament, and we knew that we could be history makers, at home, in front of one of the most passionate crowds in the world.”

The Junior World Trophy in Brazil
The winner of the U20 Barthes Trophy represents the continent in the Junior World Trophy, but as fate would have it, Beldad could not travel with the team to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, as he was nursing an injury he sustained just three days before the trip.

“Despite scoring in the final here in Nairobi, I did not make the trip to Brazil due to an injury I sustained last minute while training with my club. But I was happy that my replacement for that trip was also my teammate at club level, Timothy Omela,” says Beldad.

Very few can claim to have what Beldad has. A burst of power and strength while at the same time leaving his opponents in his wake with his turn of speed. Very few can cause teams problems the way he does, steamrolling defenders at will while also possessing that extra edge when it comes to finishing. Something that has earned him the nickname Laumape after the famous New Zealand midfielder Ngani Laumape.

The injury setback did not shut doors; on the contrary, doors opened so wide that he could not believe it. But not without a lesson or two in patience. “After recovering from the injury, I got called up for a few trials with the Kenya Simbas, first in 2020 and then in 2021, but they did not all materialize due to the global pandemic that was COVID-19.” In 2022, I did not make it the first time, but when the team was heading to South Africa to play in the Currie Cup First Division, I received a call-up.”

Since then, Beldad has grown from strength to strength, even earning a call-up to the final 31-man squad that took part in the Rugby World Cup repechage tournament in Dubai last year.

The 2019 U20 Barthes Trophy Winners
The Chipu Class of 2019 with their bling!

To the Chipu class of 2023: “Anything is possible. Use the home advantage to the fullest. The fans will show up, and it will be up to you to make them proud. We are celebrating our win four years later; it is always good to be part of history. I wish them all the best,” adds Beldad.

Beldad is now a full Kenyan international, having played for the Kenya Simbas at the Rugby World Cup repechage tournament in Dubai last year. To Chipu class of 2023, Beldad did it, All of You can also do it!

– Article by James Njenga Macharia/U20 Barthes Trophy Media Team

Zimbabwe survive late scare to lift Barthes Trophy

Zimbabwe are the 2022 Barthes Trophy champions following a 19-14 win over favourites Namibia at the Nyayo National Stadium. 

The close contest was too close to call but the South African neighbours produced a memorable game that will leave long in the memory of rugby lovers across the continent.

Namibia who beat Kenya in the semis began the match on a bright note, earning an early penalty that was converted by Oela Blaauw for a 3-0 lead. 

Zimbabwe responded with their own penalty converted by Brendan Marume to level matters and later on earned a first try of the game to stretch their lead to 8-3. Liberty Sibanda managed to get some space in the Namibia defense and his trickery was enough to hand Zimbabwe their first try of the game

An infringement by Zimbabwe allowed Namibia to score yet another penalty through Geraldo Beukes but Takudzwa Musingwini scored yet another try for Zimbabwe to take a 11-6 halftime lead.

Another penalty kick in the second half by Namibia reduced the arrears to two points with Geraldo Beukes scoring another penalty for Namibia. A brilliant interchange down the left flank released Panashe Zuze who scored Zimbabwe’s second try which proved too vital in the game. 

With the scores at 16-14 following Bernd Baddies try for Namibia, the game witnessed a nervy end but a Musingwini penalty for Zimbabwe eased pressure on the Zimbabweans. A late surge by Namibia was well countered by a disciplined defensive play by Zimbabwe and when the final whistle  blew, the boys in white and green jumped in jubilation with light showers savoring the occasion.

Chipu smash Madagascar to claim bronze

The Kenya national U20 rugby 15s side, Kenya Chipu finished third in the 2022 Barthes Cup after thrashing Madagascar 49-15 in the bronze medal match played under light showers at the Nyayo National stadium, Nairobi.

Having surrendered their title defence in the defeat to Namibia, Chipu came into the Sunday afternoon match focused on the job and got matters underway as soon as the clock ticked for kick off.

Chipu got over the whitewash for the first time in the third minute when John Baraka got clear for the first try of the day. A successful conversion took the scores to 7-0. A second try and conversion extended Kenya’s lead to 14-0. The islanders got their first points of the day via a penalty but that was quickly replied by Tony Oketch’s penalty which extended Chipu’s lead to 17-3 another try and penalty further took matters out of Madagascar’s hands and when David Mwangi landed another try for the homeboys, it was almost game over. Madagascar got their first try of the game just before the breather and when the two sides raced to the dug out, it was 30-10 in favour of Curtis Olago’s Chipu.

Madagascar got matters underway in the second half, earning a try that would see them half the scores to 30-15. A tighter Kenyan defence plus a sleek forward ensured that Kenya won brone and at least a podium finish in this year;s edition.

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