Uganda Lady Rugby Cranes returned to test Rugby with a commanding 41-00 win over Zimbabwe on Wednesday afternoon at Kyadondo.
However, it was Zimbabwe that started the game brightly, enjoying early possession with Caroline Malenga and Liliosa Chigumbu carrying well into Uganda’s half.
The visitors played expansively earlier on using the whole width of ground and kept the Lady Cranes on the back foot but the lack of support at their rucks remained an achilles as the Ugandans forced many turnovers.
Ten minutes into the game, the Lady Rugby Cranes shook off the nerves and started to dominate with a bit more structured play. The side playing rugby for the first time since 2019 put together a few good phases of play with quick offloads and short passes.
It was not long before Leonard Lubambula’s charges got a try. Samiya Ayikoru crashed over after a quick break by the backs to put Uganda on the board but Charlotte Mudoola missed the conversion.
With the kicking for touch and lineouts porous for both sides, the hosts started to choose a scrum on every penalty at the breakdown and it was an area the Lady Ruby Cranes dominated for the entirety of the game.
Emilly Lekuru scored Uganda’s second try from a scrum for a 10-00 halftime lead.
In the second half, the Lady Cranes started going to their fast players on the wings and the reward was a dominant second half and five tries.
Fifteen minutes into the second, the Lady Rugby Cranes put together a good phase of play that involved the halfback pairing of Julie Nandawula and Charlotte Mudoola with skipper Peace Lekuru at the end to score Uganda’s third try that Mudoola converted.
Grace Auma went over for Uganda’s fourth try. After good carries from player of the game Winnie Atyang and Yvonne Najjuma, the Lady Rugby Cranes went out wide to Auma who raced clear and grounded under the poles for the easiest of conversions.
Lady Rugby Cranes bullied the Zimbabweans from a set piece for the fifth try, this time Emily Lekuru beating her opposite number for pace and power.
Peace Lukuru completed her brace before Asha Nakityo powered over for a forward’s try to complete the route.
The two sides meet again on Sunday, July 18 at the same ground.