- Victoria Cup | Saturday, August 24
- Zimbabwe vs. Uganda – Harare Sports Club, 4:30 pm
Apart from their first game of the Victoria Cup in Kisumu that also doubled as the opening leg of the Elgon Cup in which they set the tone, Uganda Rugby Cranes have had slow starts.
The sloppy start culminated into back-to-back defeats in their own backyard to Kenya Simbas and Zimbabwe Sables though they managed to overcome the tournament whipping boys Zambia last weekend.
Heading into the return leg against the Sables, Robert Seguya’s men can not afford another slow start against a side that ran in three tries in ten minutes and the head coach believes his charges are ready.
“This is rugby, anything can happen. We have come to play rugby. We have come to make sure we put smiles back home.
“We are fully prepared. As I said we are not here for touring, we are here for business. We are prepared,” he said ahead of the tie.
Seguya made four changes from the team that lost to Zimbabwe, 31-26, with Ian Munyani starting in the place of Pius Ogena but it’s Michael Wokorach who has been moved to the inside.
Vice-captain Justin Kimono starts ahead of Daudi Ssemwami on the right wing while Brian Asaba starts at the blindside with Byron Oketayot on the openside.
The team will be buoyed by the 38-22 win over Zambia last weekend but with the Sables looking to defend the cup and still unbeaten, it could be a long afternoon for the Rugby Cranes.
Brendan Dawson, the head coach of Sables, expects a tough game but is confident his charges will get the job done with an emphasis on keeping the ball.
“It’s a big game for us, you know Uganda will be supercharged to revenge after we beat them at their home.
“We have made a couple of changes due to injuries to a number of key players, but we have a couple of players who can step up and make sure it happens,” said Dawson as quoted by The Herald.
“The boys have to maintain the pressure, they have to maintain the heat, and keep the ball to themselves.
“You know we don’t have to allow them to steal a couple of balls,” he added.
Rugby Cranes XV: 1. Santos Ssenteza 2. Ronald Kanyanya 3. Asuman Mugerwa 4. Charles Uhuru 5. Simon Olet 6. Brian Asaba 7. Byron Oketayot 8. Eliphas Emong 9. Paul Epilo 10. Ivan Magomu 11. Paul Masendi 12. Michael Wokorach 13.Ian Munyani 14. Justin Kimono 15. Philip Wokorach
Reserves: 16. Collin Kimbowa 17. Saul Kivumbi 18. Faraji Odugo 19. Michael Otto 20. Pius Ogena 21. Desire Ayera 22. Adrian Kasito 23. Daudi Semwami