Osando relishing Kenyan challenge

Monday June 21 2010

By Ismail D. Kigongo


Victoria Cup
Uganda24-15 Zimbabwe
Kenya A 27-13 Uganda A
Tanzania A 49-6 Uganda A
July 3 at KYRFC
Uganda v Kenya

Ham Onsando is relishing the prospect of biting the hand that once fed him. Instead of getting lost in Uganda Rugby Cranes hard-earned 24-15 victory over visiting Zimbabwe in the Victoria Cup at Kampala RFC on Saturday, the Kenyan opted to focus ahead.

Uganda host Kenya at Kyadondo RFC on July 3 and Onsando equated the result to a descent preparation for the regional thriller. It was Zimbabwe’s second straight defeat coming on the back of an 11-10 loss to Kenya in Nairobi.

“I think we committed a number of mistakes which we must rectify but I am pleased that we got good preparation for the game against Kenya,” Onsando, 49, a former vice-chairman in the former Kenya Rugby Football Union (KRFU), stated. Tries from centres Michael Wokorach and Timothy Mudoola plus prop Brian Odong got Rugby Cranes across the line as the visitors responded through Fortune Kipendo, Zacks Tondoro and Tafadzwa Mhende but paid the price for not taking their chances.

The physical encounter left Rugby Cranes bruised with captain Mathias Ochwo (hamstring), fullback Simon Wakabi (thigh) and hooker Alex Mubiru (knee) replaced with various injury problems. In explaining his side’s slow starts to either half and his injury worries, flanker Ochwo was optimistic. “It has become a tradition that we start games slowly but get going after gauging our opponents. I should be fit for Kenya,” Ochwo said.

For Onsando, the forwards blew hot and cold even when they had to defend with 14 men as debutant Andrew Olweny was sent to the sin-bin for a bad tackle.

The backline came good when it mattered but there is still a lot of work to be done in order to replicate Uganda’s strength of years gone by. “The teams that have beaten us have done so due to their home advantage but our turn will come in Harare,” said Zimbabwe coach Brendon Dawson.