Morocco have moved on to the next stage of the region's Rugby World Cup 2019 qualification process after wrapping up the Rugby Africa Division 1C title with a 53-10 win against Nigeria.
The Atlas Lions led 22-7 at half-time before adding five tries after the break to claim their place in Division 1B next year where they will replace relegated Zambia.
The sun-kissed C.O.C Stadium in Casablanca played host to the third and final game of the round-robin competition, which doubled as the first stage of the African qualification process for RWC 2019, after both teams had recorded earlier wins against Mauritius.
Morocco brushed Mauritius aside 68-3 in last weekend's opening game before the Black Stallions of Nigeria edged a much tighter affair 31-21 on Wedneday. That victory will move Nigeria on to 37.71 rating points and above India into 76th position in the World Rugby Rankings once they are officially updated at 12:00 UK time on Monday.
Mauritius’ winless Division 1C campaign will result in a loss of almost seventh tenths and a fall of three places to 89th in the rankings with the Bahamas, Austria and Denmark the beneficiaries. Morocco will remain unchanged in 56th, on 45.18 points.
NAMIBIA ON COURSE FOR TITLE
Namibia, meanwhile, maintained their perfect record in the Rugby Africa Cup Division 1A with a 56-21 victory over Kenya in Windhoek on Saturday.
A fortnight earlier the Welwitschias had beaten Uganda 40-31 in the opening match of the competition and they are now on 10 points at the top of the Division 1A table, five clear of Kenya.
Namibia’s final assignment is at home to Zimbabwe on 6 August.
With a record 61-15 win against Zimbabwe in Harare behind them, Kenya had hoped to give the reigning Africa Cup champions a run for their money, however the game was beyond them at half-time as their hosts ran in six converted tries to lead 42-7 at the break.
The Simbas offered more resistance in the second half but there was no way back for them on a day when Namibia’s forwards laid the platform for the dominant win.
Man of the match Tinus du Plessis led the way with a brace of tries, while captain Tjiuee Uanivi, Chrysander Botha, Rohan Kitshoff, Gino Wilson, Russell van Wyk and Johan Deysel scored one try each. Fly-half Theuns Kotze turned in a flawless display with the boot, converting all eight tries to celebrate his 29th birthday in style.
For Kenya, James Kangethe scored two tries and Isaac Adimo one, while Darwin Mukidzwa, Dan Sikuta and Fabian Olanda each added a conversion.
Namibia will remain 20th in the rankings albeit with half a rating point gained. Kenya stay in their highest ever position of 24th, but now little more than a tenth above Belgium.
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