Kenya U20 outmatched by Netherlands in a heavy 51-3 loss


Kenya’s U20 rugby team faced a challenging match against the Netherlands in the second round of the World Rugby U20 Trophy 2024 at Hive Stadium, Scotland.

The Dutch team delivered a dominant performance, defeating Kenya 51-3 on Sunday, continuing their strong form from their previous match against the USA.

The Netherlands wasted no time asserting their dominance, opening the scoring within the first two minutes. Scrum-half Niek Doornenbal skillfully maneuvered through the Kenyan defense, touching down near the posts.

Full-back Ilan Vaasen converted the try, putting the Dutch team ahead early. Although Vaasen missed a subsequent conversion attempt for center Kees de Bruin’s try, the Netherlands continued to control the game.

In the 11th minute, Vaasen extended the lead to 15 points with a successful penalty kick. Kenya’s situation worsened five minutes later when second-row Clein Omukhulu received a yellow card for illegally bringing down a driving maul.

The Dutch capitalized on their numerical advantage, with number eight Joris Smits scoring off a powerful lineout drive. Vaasen’s impressive touchline conversion further increased the lead.

Kenya managed to get on the scoreboard in the second quarter through a penalty by James Olela, offering a brief respite. However, the Netherlands quickly responded, with fly-half Tom Hijdra executing a fine miss pass to captain Kit Temperley, who scored another try. This try secured a bonus point for the Dutch team.

Before halftime, the Netherlands scored two more tries. Smits crossed the line again at the back of a driving maul, and prop Toine Obiang Nguema powered over from a penalty move, leaving Kenya struggling at the break.

In the second half, Kenya showed more resilience, making it harder for the Dutch to score. However, the Netherlands broke through again after 22 minutes, with an impressive counter-attack. Hijdra and Temperley combined to release Vaasen, who finished in the left corner.

The Dutch team crossed the 50-point mark in the 74th minute when replacement winger Flynn Baker finished on the opposite flank. Vaasen missed both touchline conversions in the second half, but it had little impact on the overall result.

The Netherlands comfortably won 51-3, maintaining their hopes of reaching the final at their first attempt in the tournament.

Despite the loss, Kenya’s U20 team displayed moments of determination and resilience, particularly in the second half. However, the Dutch team’s superior execution and physicality were too much for them to handle on the day.

As the tournament progresses, Kenya will look to regroup and build on the lessons learned from this challenging encounter.

Photo: X

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