Tag: barthescupnairobi

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.

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

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.