South Africa defeat Kenya 56-12 in men's senior rugby league international

A hat trick of tries from centre Marnus Coetzer saw South Africa take a 56-12 lead in the JP Botha African Cup at the Naka RC Stadium against Kenya. In the first meeting of the nations in a men’s senior international, the visitors took an early lead through a Wycliffe Ratemo penalty but the Rhinos led 22-8 at the break, winger Shuane Matsane with two tries as the hosts exploited the visitor’s right hand side.

South Africa men’s head coach, Fanie Bredenhann, said: “Our initial start was slow to absorb the highly motivated Kenyans. The lack of international experience was our biggest concern with a new crop of players but as we got momentum, the play got into a nice flow. Points scored against us and ill-discipline will be the topics to address before the next game.”

Wycliffe Ratemo and Brian Mutua scored Kenya’s tries. “It was good to finally get to play the game despite it not going our way,” said interim head coach John M’Bai. “We have two days to recover and see which areas we can improve on before the next encounter. I am proud of the brave performance put up by the team given that they arrived in SA just hours before kick-off.”

The sides meet again at Grizzlies rugby club in Pretoria on Saturday.

SOUTH AFRICA 56

Junaide Seedat, Itu Mphete, James Campbell, Marnus Coetzer, Shaun Matsane, Jean Coetzer, Hendrik Mulder, CP Louw, Franco Van Deventer, Altus Delport, Dylan Venter, Marcelle Corneelsen, Allan Kasselman

Subs: Marcelle Vilijoen, Luka Fana, Justin Van Heerden, Tjaart Pretorius

Tries: Matsane (5, 22), Coetzer (9, 55, 69), Van Deventer (17), Van Heerden (48), Delport (58), Campbell (61) , Corneelsen (75)

Goals: Mulder 8/10

KENYA 12

Lawrence Okello, Ramadhan Masete, Brian Mutua, Collins Ochieng, Paul Seda, Dennish Ndinya Lucky Byron, Iddo Kuta, Victor Ndungu, Raymond Ekutu, James Maranga, Patrick Mwakina, Wycliffe Ratemo

Subs: Nick tom Opiyo, Solo Mbugua Kevin, Kelly Omari, Steve Muniafu

Tries: Masete (30), Mutua (64)

Goals: Ratemo 2/2, Mutua 0/1

Half time: 22-8

Referee AJ Barnard and Rudolf du Plooy