The race to qualify for Rugby World Cup 2023 threw out some unbelievable upsets in Africa this week.
Within the opening spherical of the Rugby Africa Cup, a contest that makes up a part of the Rugby World Cup 2023 qualifying course of, the Ivory Coast registered a 24-13 victory over Namibia, while Senegal defeated Kenya 20-19. It was a late transformed strive for Senegal that finally proved decisive as they claimed victory over a aspect greater than 20 locations above them within the World Rugby Rankings.
The shock losses imply each Namibia and Kenya should win their second fixtures to maintain alive their hopes of constructing it to France 2023. Namibia are as a result of play Madagascar on Wednesday whereas Kenya subsequent play on Sunday, 11 July, in opposition to Zambia.
The Namibians and Kenyans will after all be anticipated to win their matches comfortably in opposition to groups far decrease than themselves within the World Rankings. Madagascar presently reside at 51st within the ranks, with Zambia under them nonetheless, down in 66th. But, if the outcomes from this week show something, it’s that rankings don’t essentially decide outcomes.
This 12 months’s Rugby Africa Cup sees 12 groups cut up into 4 swimming pools:
Pool A – Ivory Coast, Madagascar, Namibia.
Pool B – Kenya, Senegal, Zambia.
Pool C – Algeria, Ghana, Uganda.
Pool D – Burkina Faso, Tunisia, Zimbabwe.
Namibia possess relative World Cup pedigree in comparison with their eleven rivals having featured at six tournaments, in a run of appearances relationship again to 1999. Of the remaining groups, solely Zimbabwe and Ivory Coast have performed at World Cups, with the previous enjoying at two – the inaugural match in 1987 and 4 years later in 1991, while the latter made their solely look on the 1995 match.
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) July 3, 2021
Kenya are a extra recognisable function of the World Rugby Sevens Collection, their highest end in that competitors being fifth within the 2012/13 season.
But expertise is equally no assure of present success and the competitors for World Cup qualification will most positively have tightened following these outcomes. One other nice leveler of the competitors has emerged via the absence of lots of Namibia’s key gamers.
The Pool A and B matches are to be performed between third and eleventh July whereas Swimming pools C and D happen from Ninth-18th July.
The highest two sides from every pool will transfer into subsequent 12 months’s match, therefore why a win of their second recreation is so essential for Namibia and Kenya.
Rugby Africa Cup 2022 has a knockout format – quarter-finals, semi-finals and ultimate – and can decide the Africa qualifier for the subsequent World Cup.
The winner of that ultimate in 2022 will undergo to RWC 2023 as Africa One and be a part of Pool A with New Zealand, France, Italy and Americas One. The runner-up will transfer into the Closing Qualification Event.
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