It took Rugby Cranes seven years to win an away game in Kenya. The end of that horrific run with a 17-16 triumph last Saturday should serve as a springboard to retain the Elgon Cup.
Uganda need at least a draw to clinch the bilateral trophy at Kyadondo grounds. With a one-point advantage to build upon, this should be done and dusted. Not to head coach Peter Magona.
“It’s not over. I think it’s evenly poised,” Magona, a former Rugby Cranes captain, insisted after his first game in charge of the national team. “The Kenyans will know it’s still very open. “I expect changes and they will come here with a winning mind-set so we cannot rest on our laurels.”
Rugby Cranes are favourites now to win the tie, aren’t they?
“Favourites? Yes and No,” Magona explained. “It only counts when you convert. And then you should remember that Kenya has won here more than we have in Nairobi.” The Kenyans last won here in 2010, cruising to a 33-25 as the Ugandan team was undergoing a transition following the retirement of several players the previous year.
Rugby Cranes converged yesterday for the first time since returning from Nairobi. Fitness concerns surround prop Ronald Adigasi (calf), back row Arthur Mukama and centre Michael Wokorach.
The latter two have ankle problems. “We are not yet decided on any changes yet but I don’t envisage many, maybe one or two,” Magona revealed.
RUGBY CRANES SQUAD
STARTING 15: Ronald Adigasi, Alex Mubiru (captain), Asuman Mugerwa, Romano Ogwal, Timothy Dumba, Scot Oluoch, Arthur Mukama, Marvin Odongo, Robert Seguya, Ambrose Kamanyiire, Jonathan Onen, Michael Wokorach, Timothy Mudoola, Justin Kimono, Benon Kiiza
REPLACEMENTS: Paul Sserunjogi for Mukama, Denis Mulo for Dumba, Andrew Olweny for Odongo, Jasper Ochen for Kamanyiire, Oscar Kalyango for Onen, Richard Lumu for Kimono, Denis Mugambe for Adigasi
SATURDAY AT KYADONDO, 4pm
Uganda vs. Kenya (Men and women)