Simbas' Darwin Mukidza looks to make a pass during the Elgon Cup match at Lengends Credit: © Kawowo Sports | JOHN BATANUDDE
[/media-credit] Action between Simbas and Rugby Cranes Credit: © Kawowo Sports | JOHN BATANUDDE

For the second time in a row, the Rugby Cranes failed to score in the second period of the game against the Kenya Simbas at Legends Rugby Grounds.

The visitors rallied and trounced Uganda 23-18 in the first leg of this year’s Elgon Cup played on Saturday.

Kenyan skipper Darwin Mukidza was made good use of his boot as the Kenyans took the advantage in the battle for the cup they won last year.

Head coach Jerome Parwaater is pleased with the competition Uganda put up and will take the 23-18 win with both hands ahead of the return leg.

“It was important that we win and we knew it wouldn’t be easy,” Parwaater told Kawowo Sports.

Kenya started the game with Mukidza converting a penalty to give his side a quick 03-00 lead and momentarily send the crowd into silence.

Things turned from bad to worse for the hosts as Philip Wokorach was stripped in his own 22 for Kenya to cross the white wash, Mukidza converted and give Kenya a quick 10-00 lead.

Cranes, cheered on by the home fans, ran riot late in the first half and led 18-10 at the break. Eighth man Marvin Odongo and winger James Odongo touched down to re-energize the home support.

“They gave us a good game and we expect them to come out strong in Nairobi,” Parwaater said.

The return leg of this annual series is set to be held on June 24 at RFUEA grounds in Nairobi. The fixture will also double up as the Africa Rugby Gold Cup.

“We knew it was going to be tough here but this is what we wanted,” said Simbas tactician added.

Having lost 48-10 and 45-24 in the first and second leg last year, the results represents an improvement on John Duncan’s side.

The Simbas will win their 10th Elgon Cup by avoiding defeat in Nairobi.

Uganda lost 93-34 on aggregate last year.

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