Rugby

Kenya deliver suitable reality check for Cranes

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Uganda’s Timothy Mudoola (L) gets physical with a Kenyan opponent. PHOTO: E. CHICCO 

By Ismail D. Kigongo

Posted  Monday, July 5  2010 at  00:00
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Kampala

Result
Uganda 26-33 Kenya
Saturday in Nairobi
Kenya v Uganda

Many Ugandans hated the sight of over 200 Kenyan fans joining their players for a rare victory dance on the Kyadondo RFC turf following the visitors’ 33-26 victory over Uganda in the Elgon/Victoria Cup on Saturday.

Thousands of locals watched in utter disbelief as Zimbabwean referee Andrew Robert blew the final whistle that seemed to rescue Rugby Cranes from a dismal outing. The defeat, the first to Kenya on home turf in five years, came on the backdrop of another slow start as the hosts were forced to chase the game from the onset.
The visitors earned an 18-8 halftime lead as centre Patrice Agunda’s try in addition to two penalties and a conversion from wing Peter Abouga made the early breakthrough. A try from wing Jonathan Onen and fly-half Benon Kiiza’s penalty showed that coach Ham Onsando’s team were not quaking just yet.

“Our biggest problem is starting slowly and we paid for it by giving away so many penalties in attacking areas,” Onsando, the Rugby Cranes coach, said in a postmortem.
Nonetheless, further tries from Abouga, flanker Andrew Amonde and fullback Innocent Simiyu reduced Robert Seguya’s three touchdowns for Rugby Cranes, two of them from collapsed mauls, to pain relievers. Much as home fans stayed in it till the end, Onsando will know that his team were out of the game much earlier.

Coach Mike ‘Tank’ Otieno’s well-drilled side were in charge from start to finish. The thinner detail reveals that Michael Wokorach struggled on the wing, Andrew Olweny’s first start as the ball carrier backfired while scrumhalf Faisal Gamma looked nervy.

Despite setting up Onen’s try, former skipper John Musoke was off-beat at first centre and Scot Olouch, who came on for Olweny, doesn’t spark off the bench. The Gamma-Kiiza pairing failed to match the slipperiness of Moses Kola and Nato Simiyu whereas prop Nzioka Mulema pounded Uganda’s forwards into near submission. “There were so many missed tackles from us,” Onsando told Daily Monitor.

In his remedy ahead of the return leg in Nairobi on Saturday, he said; “I will spend Monday (today) reviewing the game on DVD and statistics for individual players.”