Kenya have climbed two places to 28th in the World Rugby Rankings after beating Uganda 34-16 in the opening leg of the Elgon Cup in Kampala.
The Simbas scored five tries and kicked three conversions and a penalty in a victory that was worth just under half a rating point to the visitors, taking them above Germany and Chile.
In Ian Snook’s first game in charge, Kenya started brightly and established a 24-9 half-time lead thanks to converted tries from Jacob Ojee, Leo Seje and Olishe Mang’eni plus a penalty from the boot of Darwin Mukidza.
After a scrappy opening to the second period, Uganda finally found their way over the whitewash thorough debutant Simon Olet. Philip Wokorach added the conversion to go with his three first-half penalties.
The try from Olet breathed life into the Ugandans but they were unable to find their way over again, and Kenya went on to score two late tries, through flanker Elkeans Musonye and Biko Adema, to add some gloss to the scoreline.
The Elgon Cup second leg at the RFUEA Grounds in Nairobi on Saturday 7 July doubles as a Rugby Africa Gold Cup fixture and Rugby World Cup 2019 qualifier.
While Kenya climb the rankings, Uganda fall two places to 37th with Poland and Ukraine the beneficiaries.
Chinese Taipei defeated Thailand 28-21 in the Asia Rugby Championship Division II title decider in Pattaya and as a result of the victory, and a 44-5 win over India earlier in the week, they climb two places to 63rd with Luxembourg and Jamaica sliding one place apiece.
The lead changed hands four times in a topsy-turvy first half and six times in the match in total, with Chinese Taipei needing a hat-trick from second-row Wei-Ming Lin to ward off the home side.
Akarin Thitisakulvit kicked Thailand into a seventh-minute lead but a converted try from number eight Che-Yu Sung swung the game back in Chinese Taipei's favour approaching the end of the first quarter.
Within 10 minutes Thailand responded, scoring through their captain and fly-half Vatcharukom Vorachate, with Thitisakulvit converting and adding a penalty. But, on the stroke of half-time, Chinese Taipei seized the initiative again thanks to Lin's first effort, taking a 14-13 lead into the break.
Ill-discipline on the resumption saw Chinese Taipei play the third quarter with 14 men, following back-to-back yellow cards, and Thailand took advantage of their numerical advantage to score through Sumat Thammaporn and go 18-14 up.
The lead, however, was only brief as Lin dotted down for his second try on the hour mark. Still, Thailand weren't done, a penalty from Thitisakulvit levelling the scores at 21-21 before Lin capped a fine display with the match-winner four minutes from time.
In the Top 3 of the Asia Rugby Championship, Hong Kong ran out 91-10 winners over Malaysiato keep their RWC 2019 qualification hopes alive.
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