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The Simbas suffered their second Mzansi Challenge loss to the Eastern Province Elephants on Saturday 29th April 2023 going down 7-18 at the Port Alfred High School.

Hosts, took a 7 point lead in the opening ten minutes of this much awaited fixture in the region before Simbas responded with  a well worked try that saw inside center Joel Inzuga set up Hilary Mwanjilwa for Kenya’s sole try in this match. Fly half Ntabeni Dukisa sliced the uprights to level to scores to 7-7. Eight minutes later, Simbas got penalized for an infringement in their red zone and the opponents drilled in their additional three points to take the lead.

The remaining twenty minutes was a display of Simbas putting up a white brick wall in their 22M; the EP Elephants made several attempts to break this defense but Paarwater’s charges were not relenting. Half-time scores were 10-7 in favour of the hosts.

In the second half, EP Elephants extended their lead with a second penalty kick, scoreboard read 13-7 with 30 minutes left on the clock. Both sides traded possession of the ball for a majority of this period however, it was the Elephants who converted their possession into points when they mauled their way to score their second and the final try in this match. The conversion was unsuccessful and the match ended 18-7.

Speaking after the match, Head Coach Jerome Paarwater commended the team’s performance in the first half for following the plan that he has laid out for them. However the same energy was lacking in the second half . “We want the team to stick to the program, I know there’s a lot of new stuff I have introduced to them but as much as this is a building phase for the whole team, they have to learn quickly,”

The Simbas continue to search for their first Mzansi Challenge victory this year as they prepare to face the Border Bulldogs on Saturday 6th May in Cape Town.

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