Rugby Cranes Target Kenya Scalp In France

Friday, July 1
•Namibia 71-05 Burkina Faso
•Zimbabwe 38-11 Ivory Coast

Saturday, July 2
•Uganda Vs Kenya – 4pm
•Senegal Vs Algeria

Uganda’s senior men Rugby National team, the Rugby Cranes, face off with Kenya Simbas in the quarterfinals of the Rugby Africa Cup on Saturday.

The last stages of this tournament are being played in France, a controversial decision earlier made by Rugby Afrique.

The tournament is acting as a qualifier for the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

Winner between Uganda and Kenya meet Senegal or Algeria while the other semifinal will see Zimbabwe and Nambia face off for a place in the final.

The tournament winner qualify for the World Cup next year while the beaten finalist has a chance at the final qualification tournament.

Fred Mudoola and his Charges. URU photos

Uganda reached this knockout stage after topping Pool C that had Algeria and Ghana, with those group games held at Kyadondo last year in July.

And the quarterfinal tie against Kenya brings together two neighbours in a Migingo derby that will be played at the Aix-en-Provence.

The Rugby Cranes were flagged off on Monday at Copper Chimney in Lugogo by State Minister of Sports and Education Hon Hamson Obua.

The team is beefed up by Phillip Wokorach who plies his trade in France and will use his knowledge and familiarity of the ground to help Uganda overcome Kenya.

The Rugby Cranes are captained by Pirates’ Ivan Magomu and coached by Fred Mudoola who both expressed their readiness for the crunch tie.

Kenya, ranked number 35, have beaten Uganda who are ranked at 52, 22 times. The meeting has seen two draws while Uganda have won on 10 occasions in those 34 times.

History says that the first official match between Uganda and Kenya took place in 1958 in Kampala, a game Uganda lost 11-21.

The last meeting between Uganda and Kenya Simbas was in 2019 during the Elgon Cup – The Rugby Cranes win 16-13 in Kisumu before Kenya overturned the deficit in Kampala 16-05 to retain the Cup.

Pius Ogena

Mudoola will bank on his heavier pack while Kenya’s Paul Odera will bank on athleticism and fitness of his side.

While Uganda have been in camp without a recognised friendly, Kenya’s preparations to this tie saw them play in Currie Cup in South Africa where they won three and lost six matches.

How To Watch – Match will be live on NBS Sport, and SuperSport ok DStv.

Starting 15s

Uganda – Santos Ssenteza, Faragi Odugo, Asuman Mugerwa, Uhuru Charles, Emong Eliphaz, Mark Omonding, Joaquin Chisano, Scott Oluoch, Paul Epilo, Ivan Magomu, Lawrence Ssebuliba, Pius Ogena, Innocent Gwokto, Solomon Okia, Philip Wokorach

Kenya – Patrick Ouka, Eugene Sifuna, Ephraim Odour, Malcolm Onsando, Thomas Okeyo, George Nyambua, Daniel Sikuta, Bethwel Anami, Samuel Asati, Dominic Coulson, Collins Injera, John Okoth, Vincent Onyala, Jacob Ojee, Darwin Mukidza

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