Uganda Rugby Cranes kicked off the 2021 Rugby Africa Cup campaign with a comfortable 53-12 win over Ghana Eagles on Saturday.
The hosts ran in eight tries in front of empty stands of Kyadondo Rugby Ground to take charge of Pool C of the tournament that also doubles as a 2023 Rugby World Cup Qualifier.
Ghanaian resistance lasted for just three minutes. Ivan Magomu’s kick-off was fielded but Koffi Appiah sent it out off the boot, and Faraj Odugo overthrew the ball. However, Ghana couldn’t hold on to the possession, turned over the ball almost immediately, and couldn’t hold their defensive line. Magomu kicked to the corner and Uganda’s maul blasted over for Odugo to dot down after a couple of phases.
After missing the conversion, Magomu maintained the touch clearance finders but conceded the kick-for-points duties to full-back Adrian Kasito who split the posts with his first kick to give Uganda an 8-0 lead.
While Ghana had a slightly heavier pack, the first scrum of the game showed they couldn’t hold and from the second, Uganda extended its lead. Rugby Cranes drove the Eagles through five meters before eighth man Desire Ayera picked up and threaded a pass to speedster Solomon Okia who easily beat his man and went over. Kasito added the extras.
In the 25th minute, former Rugby Cranes captain Brian Odong dotted from another driving maul with Kasito adding the twos for a comfortable 22-00 lead.
Myles Scott caught Rugby Cranes napping to score in the corner and the West Africans gained momentum that would be rewarded a few minutes later with Josiah Twum-Boafo’s try and conversion.