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Chisanga toast of Simba

Despite the national 15s team’s 65-29 loss to Western Province at the Newlands Stadium in Cape Town, eighthman Joshua Chisanga’s exceptional performance carried the day.

The Homeboyz forward scored a unique try, brushing off four defenders to power his way to the tryline.

Chisanga’s picks from the back of the scrum on several occasions saw him floor a defender or two. His work rate was amplified on defence, where several tackles saved Kenya from conceding more tries.

Most memorable was a hard hit on Province’s Tiger Bax after the fullback had sliced through Simba XV’s first line of defence, only to run into Chisanga’s shoulder.

Chisanga also saved the Kenyan side from a try, forcing Province Captain Rohan Kitschoff to step into touch as he tried to sneak to the tryline in the 75th minute of the game.

His performance left several pundits, the game commentators included, suggesting that he could be drafted into one of the South African sides after the tournament, owing to his brute strength and high work rate.

Best day

The 20-year-old picked the best day to bring his A game, as the match was a curtain raiser for the DHL Stormers’ Super Rugby tie against Australian side Waratahs, meaning a number of top level coaches spotted him in action.

An elated Chisanga told NairobiNews he was focusing on the next assignment and aims at improving: “At the moment the focus is to do my best for the team as we seek to sharpen ourselves for the CAR Cup, as it is our key to the World Cup. The end result did not go our way but we are all improving each week.”

He started his club rugby at University of Nairobi’s Mean Machine in the 2011-2012 season before moving to Homeboyz a season later.

After playing at centre for most of his career, he tried out at eighthman at last year’s Bamburi Rugby Super Series where he represented Papa, an amalgamation of Homeboyz, Mwamba, and KCB rugby clubs.

He debuted for the national 15-a-side team in the 2013 Elgon Cup tie against Uganda at the Safaricom Stadium in Kasarani in June last year. 

Simba 15s take on Sharks in their penultimate tie at the tournament, with a top four finish now beyond their reach, before facing Free State Cheetahs in their last tie.